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Blog Tips

This post is in homage to all the smaller bloggers out there hustling in a crowded industry. Sometimes we can get caught up in the numbers game or put too much focus on the few well established bloggers and forget that there is a wealth of talent that largely goes under the radar. There are so many I would have loved to include that I’m thinking about turning this in to a series of posts. Let me know if that is something you’d like to see! I had a hard time narrowing it down to just 5 this time but I had to recognise these lovely ladies first because they have been a huge support and inspiration to me on my blogging journey.

Chloe Plumstead

www.thelittleplum.co.uk

I find myself going back to Chloe’s blog more and more. Her content takes blogging to a new level in my opinion. The topics she writes about are so individual, she looks at the industry from a completely different point of view. It’s usually the imagery that attracts me to a blog post but in Chloe’s case it is definitely her writing, not that her images aren’t stunning too! Nearly all the topics she writes about are thought provoking and make me want to know her opinion. Not every blogger would have the guts to take on some of the topics she writes about but she does it well with wit and charm. I’m sure Chloe is destined for great things in the near future.

Here are a few posts of Chloe’s that I really enjoyed reading:

Trying To Accept That I’m Not An Insta-Girl

Is Blogging Only For the Middle Class?

Holly White

www.hollylovesthesimplethings.co.uk

I love the endearing way Holly writes. She’s unapologetically open and honest about her life which is such a refreshing change in our over edited world. Although I’m a bit older than Holly I can totally relate to her posts now or remember experiencing similar thoughts and feelings when I was her age. When I scroll through some of Holly’s posts they remind me of an editorial spread in a fashion magazine. Her modelling really helps bring her blog to life and gives it a maturity beyond her years.

These are my favourite posts from The Simple Things:

Don’t Rain On My Parade

My Busyness Is Making Me Feel Like A Bad Person

Zaineb

www.zeenaxena.com

This girl is an inspiration to all us blogging business women. Not only does she have a super cute blog but she’s also the founder of Blogging Gals, an online community to help recognise and promote smaller bloggers. Blogging Gals and Zaineb have been a huge help to me since I started blogging. You can really see her passion for the industry in everything she does. She gives the best skincare advice, or any advice for that matter. If you feel unmotivated or are struggling for inspiration, that will all change after a 5 minute chat with her! And to top it all, she’s also one of the kindest bloggers you’ll ever meet.

These are a couple of posts that I enjoyed reading:

Opportunities, Travelling And Freelancing

How To Work Effectively With Bloggers

Layla Panam

www.laylapanam.com

If you’re not new to my blog you’ll have heard me talk about the importance of being true to yourself and your style. Layla is such a good example of this, she stays consistant across her blog and all her social media. She’s a great example of how building your own brand in blogging can help establish a loyal following. You always know what you’re going to get with Layla! That level of consistency and individuality makes Layla one of my favourite bloggers. Any time I need some Instagram Baddie inspiration she is my go to.

Here are a couple of my favourite posts:

Why I Don’t Want To Write Anymore

How To Start Your Own Blog

Patricia B

www.peexo.co.uk

Having one of those ‘I have nothing to wear’ days? Well Patricia is your girl. Her Instagram and the fashion section of her blog is a catalogue of outfits that literally anyone could wear. From the latest trends to classic pieces she has a post on it all. I can’t imagine the sheer amount of time and effort she puts in to creating her outfit posts and Instagram feed. But the section of her blog I love the most is the travel category. Her post on the Maldives that she captured on her iPhone reminds me that you don’t need all the bells and whistles to produce good content.

You can read these posts here:

The Maldives From My iPhone

Following Trends Doesn’t Make Your Style Boring

 

Are there any other bloggers you’re loving at the moment? I’d love to hear about them, let me know in the comments below.

I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline recently and saw a conversation between two bloggers about what a blog post should consist of. The general gist was that unless a post contains multiple Vogue worthy images and a piece of writing to rival Shakespeare then it wasn’t a legit post. I might be slightly exaggerating here but needless to say the tone of the tweets got my back up a little.

First and foremost, a post is whatever you want it to be. If you want to write the next War and Peace accompanied with a grainy image then that’s fine. If you want to share 5 glossy images of your latest purchase with no words at all then that’s fine too. Literally whatever you feel like expresses your creativity best is what you should do! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no magic formula to creating a good post which is the beauty of blogging.

I hear some of you sceptics say “Well that’s fine but you won’t be very successful unless you appeal to brands”. And here’s what I’d say to them; if you want to blog because it’s your passion then making money is secondary or irrelevant. As long as your stay true to yourself, it will be fulfilling. If you want to blog to make money then exploit your unique take on a post to your advantage. How many times have we heard that this industry is saturated and there’s no more space for new bloggers. I think there is space as long as there is a point of difference. There’s no point in copying someones style or conforming to a standard way of blogging because it’s the done thing. That won’t get you noticed. If you’re doing something that is attracting an audience success will follow. It’s like the old saying, first they laugh then they copy. I’ve seen this and experienced this so many times in the blogging world. If you feel like you’re doing something unconventional then do more of it! Taking risks pays off.

So there really is not ‘correct’ way to blog. The more unusual and unique the better! Let’s use our platforms to force diversity in the industries we play in, challenge the status quo and pave the way for future creators.

 

These items were kindly sent to me.

boohoo sunglassesLipsy grey giletHow to juggle a blog and a jobSo you have an awesome day job, you’re not ready to quit it yet or you simply want to keep blogging as a hobby. We all have different reasons for not going full time with our blogs but there’s no denying blogging takes an awful lot of time.

This post is not about how to make your blog as fabulous as possible while keeping your day job ticking along. This post aims to help you strike the right balance between blogging and holding a successful career.

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Know Your Niche

How many times have you heard this phrase in the blogging world. Probably too many. Well I’m going to say it again but this time it has a real meaning. If you work in finance from 9-5 but you have a passion for art then blog about your favourite artists or even your own pieces of art. If you’re a teacher by day but an avid gamer in the evenings then start a gaming channel on YouTube. The key to this phase is “your” niche. That thing that really gets your blood pumping, that’s the seed of your blog and it’s up to you to grow it in the direction you want. It might be a passion which you’re not able to follow in your day job, it could be completely unrelated. But that’s the beauty of blogging, it can be anything you want it to be.

What I love about blogging is how it lets me explore a side of me that I am not able to in my job. I’ve always had an interest in fashion and blogging is a way for me to unleash my creativity, unhindered by the restrictions of working for someone else. My day job is a world away from the bells and whistles of bloggersphere but it is also something that I am passionate about. The way I see it, it’s like having the best of both worlds.

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Create A Schedule And Stick To It

You guys know by now that I’m a stickler for organisation and this time it is a must to keep a balance in your life. It is near impossible to blog on an ad hoc basis and stay consistent. So getting in to a routine can really help. For example, I try to post on a Monday and a Thursday but all images for the posts must be ready the Sunday before. Images usually take me the longest which is why I like to get them out of the way as early as I can. The writing mostly comes the day before the post is live. So the majority of my blogging is done on the weekend and the odd post is written in the evenings during the week. It’s a good balance for me because blogging doesn’t interfere with my day job or vice versa.

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Don’t Feel Guilty

As you grow your readership and establish a brand in the blogging world you might be invited to blogger events. More often than not these events are during the day or on a school night and it’s not always possible to make them but don’t feel bad about it. I’ll let you in to a little secret, most events aren’t really all that! That’s not to sound rude or ungrateful, typically brands are extremely generous and welcoming but if you can’t make it then don’t stress. It’s a lot of effort and time to travel to the location to spend a couple of hours at an event and travel back. Most of the time you won’t be getting paid and you’ll either have to take annual leave for the day or miss out on a days wages. When you weigh it up like that sometimes it doesn’t make sense going even though it sucks turning down invitations.

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Don’t Forget What Pays The Bills

At the end of the day we all need money. Those bills won’t pay themselves. So don’t forget to focus on what contributed to your bank account. For me, that’s my day job and it takes priority every time. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also something I really enjoy. But I know the temptation when my blog is picking up momentum to quit everything and go full time with it. You know those weeks when engagement is up and opportunities are rife, it’s a struggle to bring my head back down to earth and realise that blogging can be unpredictable and right now that doesn’t suit my lifestyle. There’s so much pressure to say that bloggging is a lifelong passion and I would do it full time to prove my commitment. But it’s important to be honest with yourself (and other bloggers) when it comes to doing it full time. It’s ok if it stays a hobby.

 

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

 

I’m no stranger to falling out of love with my blog and blogging in general. It’s a strange thing as my passion to blog is still there but my drive to do so lags at times. As far as I can tell that’s pretty normal for us bloggers and it’s not a bad thing to admit from time to time! In fact, it’s quite refreshing to hear others say they are lacking motivation too. For those occasions when you are struggling to create content for your blog here a few of my favourite tips to get back on track. Blogging tips

Misspap topTake A Break

Whether your feeling stressed or uninspired the best thing to do is to take a break. Staring at a computer screen won’t spark your imagination and will probably leave you feeling even more frustrated. Sometimes I think we put too much pressure on delivering posts or videos on the days we say will. While it’s great to have consistency, blogging is about real life and sometimes it’s not possible to hit a schedule. As long as you keep your followers informed, don’t stress about being late or taking a week off. See How Far You’ve Come

When I feel most frustrated with blogging I become quite dramatic and have been known to declare that I never want to blog again. Obviously I don’t mean it but emotions can run high when you work on personal projects. It’s always a good idea to sit back and reflect on how far your blog has come. Trust that your work is good and constantly developing and being stuck is one step away from having a stroke of genius. It’s also worth remembering how many people have blogs and how many people give up on them. The fact that you’re still going is quite an achievement. 
basic outfitgrey top outfitWhen You Feel It, Go For It! 

This kind of goes hand in hand with taking a break. If you have a spurt of inspiration get as much blogging done as possible while your brain is still whirring. Take as many pictures as you can, write lists of blog post ideas and save articles and other blogs to browse ready for those times when you have brain block. This way you won’t feel so guilty to take a week or two off, you can schedule pre-written posts to keep your consistency, well, consistent. 
CollageThink Outside Your Comfort Zone 

If you blog about fashion, take time to look at food blogs. If you always read women’s blogs, search for blogs written by men. I find myself doing this more and more. It’s amazing how many ideas you can get from studying blogs you’ve never looked at before. It can be really inspiring and a good way to leverage tips from others. If you don’t know where to start to find new blogs, websites like Blog Lovin’ are a great way to search through the latest blogs posts by topic. 
river island jeansBlogging TipsSurround Yourself With People Who Don’t Blog 

Yep, that’s right. This is nothing against fellow bloggers but sometimes you can find yourself in a rut, interacting with the same people day in day out. It’s an amazing feeling when someone who doesn’t blog or who doesn’t understand blogging starts to ask you questions about your blog and suddenly you’re talking for ages about how you started and what motivates you. If that doesn’t ignite your passion again, I don’t know what will! 


These items were kindly sent to me. 

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Crop topDay outfitTom Ford sunglassesBack when I was thinking about starting a blog I read so many articles and blog posts and spent hours watching Youtube videos to find out what I actually needed to start a blog. There are many helpful tips out there from experienced bloggers but it does take a bit of digging to find exactly what you are looking for because every blog is different and everyone’s style of blogging is unique. Bearing that in mind, I wanted to created a post that will let you know the basics about what is involved in starting a fashion blog, all in one place. These tips can also be transferred to beauty blogs and other niches too.

1. Decide If It Is What You Want

Before anything else you must be sure that starting a blog is what you want to do. I cannot stress this point enough because it plays a huge part in how much satisfaction you get out of blogging and how successful your blog is.

When I created mine I have to admit I had my doubts about blogging. I was torn between starting on a blogging journey or continuing with the career I had already chosen. I like to give my all to whatever I choose to do and become as successful as I can at it. I was concerned that splitting my attention between two options would compromise my commitment and ability on both. And blogging is a world away from the career I had chosen so it almost felt like I was living two lives. This is something I still battle with now because blogging is not my full time job but luckily after a few weeks of blogging I had fallen in love with it. But when life gets busy it’s usually the blog that suffers unfortunately. However, I know that blogging is something I want to continue which keeps me motivated and makes it enjoyable for me. 

2. The Blog

Now that you’ve decided that blogging is for you here comes the fun part, actually building your blog. There are so many publishing tools you could use to start, like Tumblr or Blogger but if you want to blog seriously I would really recommend WordPress. This way you can choose your own domain name and blog hosting which is much easier to build a brand from. There are a number of web hosting sites that support WordPress and they will guide you through the steps of buying a domain and web hosting fees. 

The name and theme (aka template) of your blog are critical. Have a good long think about the name of your blog because you don’t want to regret it in a few years. I kept my blog name as my name because it allows me to be flexible with what I post. I also think a blog named after its founder is more personal. Secondly, the theme you choose will set the tone for your blog. There are loads of free themes to choose from on WordPress so you will definitely find something you like. Keep in mind how user friendly and intuitive the theme is because anything too complicated will put readers off. 

Actually setting up your blog will probably take you the most time unless you’re a tech wiz. Take your time with it and be decisive because it really is the foundation of your overall blogging experience. 

3. Social Media

Having a blog is all well and good but you want people to see it. That is where your social media becomes your personal cheerleader. You need to use it to promote your blog and any new content you post. Get on as many social media sites as you can and preferably have the same name across all. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are a must but Snapchat and Pinterest are also really useful. I would also stress keeping your social media consistant in terms of themes and the images you post. If you want to be a fashion blogger don’t post loads of pictures of food on your Instagram. Your social media should be an extension of your blog so keeping it all in sync is really important because then readers will know what to expect. 

Posting on social media needs to be a daily thing to keep your followers engaged. A sign of a successful blogger is when readers want to know more about your life than just what you are wearing that day. Remember to be personable and entertaining but also remember that a blog is like a mini business so steer away from posting anything too unprofessional. 

Social media is also a great way of discovering like-minded bloggers to connect and interact with. There are some fantastic  communities out there like #BloggingGals, a personal favourite of mine, which support small and medium bloggers by sharing their content with a wider audience. It can get a bit lonely as a blogger so having a community you can vent too and rely on becomes very important. 

4. The Camera

Imagery is everything. At least for me anyway, I always think a well written post can really be elevated with the addition of beautiful imagery. For a fashion blog I think at least one image per post is a must. There is no set minimum or maximum number of images you should include, as long as you make sure your are publishing your best work. Don’t include images that you’re not happy with just to fill the space on the page. Even a full fashion post could consist of three crisp images and still feel complete if it is well executed. 

If there was one thing that stressed me out the most when I first started blogging it was how to achieve the images I wanted. Sometimes when we look through established bloggers work it’s hard to tell whether it is a blog or the next edition of Porter magazine because their pictures look so professional. While it’s not ideal to compare your work with others, you can certainly take inspiration from those bloggers. The good news is you don’t need to break the bank to get a camera which can take professional blog worthy photos. Luckily there is one go-to camera for all bloggers in my opinion and that is the Olympus Pen. It is a great beginner camera for even the most novice of photographers and allows you to capture stunning images with minimal effort. It is also a decent price, starting at around £300 depending on the spec and lenses you choose. It is a bit of an investment but it’s totally worth it!

The Pen is small and light to carry and fast at taking photos. I always have mine at the ready in my bag. What I find really useful about this camera is that it has a wifi connection which allows you to connect your phone and save photos to your phones camera roll. This makes is really quick to get images from your camera to your social media in no time at all. I also like how it has a flip down screen which makes it ideal for vlogging too. The Olympus Pen is really instagrammable itself because it is so stylish and it has lots of accessories options you can buy to make it your own. 

I would also recommend purchasing a tripod whilst you are at it so you can snap those outfit shots yourself when there’s no one around to help you. A simple one from Amazon will do, you can’t really go too far wrong. 

5. Contact Address 

After you have set up your blog and social media you will need to create a blog email address. It’s a good idea to create a separate email address for your blog, like you would for any other job. You want to keep it separate so your inbox stays organised and you don’t miss anything. It’s also easier to keep all your blogging information in one place. Once you have done this make sure you share the address on social media. Add it to your bio wherever possible so that companies and followers know where to contact you and can do so easily. The easier you make it, the more you will be contacted. It’s also a good idea to have a contact page on your blog which is just a basic form for people to fill in just in case they missed you email address. 

If you get blogger mail, or anticipate that you will then I would recommend getting PO Box address so that you don’t have to give out your personal home address to companies. It’s completely up to you but you can never be too safe these days! All you have to do is fill out a Royal Mail application form and they will do the rest. There is a charge for having a PO Box so you might need to consider how much you will use it but it is worth knowing that it is an option. 

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So after these five steps you should be ready to start blogging! Well almost, there is a lot more to blogging which you will soon find out but these are the fundamentals which will help set you up in the blogging world. 

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetCollageProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetI think the question I get asked the most now is: how does blogging work? Which is usually followed by any number of these questions:

Do you buy your own clothes? How do you get noticed by brands? Do they tell you what to write? How much do you get paid? How many followers do you need to have before you can work with brands? Is it hard work? How do I know when a blogger has been sponsored to post something? Have you turned down sponsored posts? How much of other bloggers content is sponsored? And the list goes on..

If you have ever wondered about any of these questions then this post is for you! I’m aiming to answer as many questions as possible (apart from how much do you get paid because that’s a whole other post!) and be as truthful as I can be because I know this is an area of interest for a lot of people. Before I started blogging I had no idea how sponsored content worked, I’m not sure I was even aware that such a thing existed. I assumed that bloggers were sometimes paid to post about a certain products or brands but sponsored content is a lot more than just one simple transaction.

Why Do Brands Sponsor Content? 

The blogging world is going through a rapid evolution. In recent years we have seen some of our favourite internet influencers move in to mainstream media, write best selling books and become multi-millionaire business people. The reason they have been able to achieve these incredible things is down their ability to attract, engage and grow their online following. If you think about your favourite top three influencers, the chances are that together they have a combined reach of millions across all their platforms. These followers are people that have actively chosen to follow them because they like the content the influencer is putting out. And there lies the answer as to why brands want to work with bloggers. Bloggers have a unique reach and influence over a large audience which is every marketing departments dream. Using bloggers to promote products ensures that their product is being seen by x amount of people with similar styles and interests. What a genius way to specifically target a demographic! It is a direct method of marketing and can generate sales almost instantly so why would any brand hesitate to take advantage of this. No matter whether the influencer uses Youtube, a blog, social media or all three, there is no doubt that their content grabs our attention and makes us want to join them and brands want a slice of that.

So that answers why the biggest bloggers attract sponsored content, but what about all the other bloggers. I would consider myself to have a modest following now but the opportunity to collaborate with brands came to me when I had no blog and as little as 2000 followers across my social media. How did that happen? Well it can be down to a number of things. Of course brands primarily want to sell their products but they also need to develop their own identity online. This is a difficult thing to do for individuals, but for bands it can be even more challenging. So, a way to do this is to collaborate with bloggers who share the same image the brand has or wants to achieve. Basically, if you fit their look they probably want to work with you. Not all brands follow this thinking but there are some that do. There is also an argument that bloggers with a small following have a higher level of engagement with their followers meaning their influence is greater. It’s debatable, but it could explain why smaller bloggers attract brand collaborations.

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What is Sponsored Content?

To put it simply, sponsored content is when a brand or company pays a blogger to post about their product but the blogger is free to give their own opinions. If a blogger is paid to post content which can ONLY convey a positive messages about the brand or product then it is an advertisement. Sponsored content can be relayed in many forms such as a blog post, youtube video, social media posts, giveaways and competitions etc. Payment is typically a monetary sum but can also be paid in exchange for vouchers, products, trips and so on. For example, a fashion brand may ask a blogger to create a blog post featuring their clothes. They might send the blogger clothes to wear and then pay them for the post. Or they could provide the blogger with a certain amount of vouchers for their store as a form of payment. It really depends on the brand and the opportunity.

The main reason why bloggers accept some form of sponsored content is because it is a way for them to monetise their blogs. Why shouldn’t bloggers be paid for their hard work, and yes it is hard work. Blogging is not a 9-5 job. Most bloggers will be answering emails, taking pictures or writing posts almost 24/7. Blogging is a lifestyle which doesn’t switch off

How Does It Work?

I’ve had lots of people ask me how working with brands actually works. And the honest answer is it really depends. You can collaborate on a sponsored post with a brand who is happy to let you have free reign and create what you want as long as they are mentioned. Or you can be working with a brand who want to micro-manage every aspect of a post despite agreeing to let you write your honest opinions. This is understandable as brands are taking a risk with sponsored content. You could be paid to review a product and completely slate it, essentially the brand has then paid you to damage their reputation. That is why it’s really important to work with brands that suit your style because being constructive creates better content than just criticism.

Whichever way the brand works there are some simple expectations. For example the brand needs to be mentioned by name and links to the product you are being sponsored to promote need to be clear and easily accessible to readers. Some kind of imagery is also typically required which needs to be good quality. Increasingly brands will also require direct mentions on social media too.

How Do I Know When Content Is Sponsored?

There has been some debate as to whether bloggers need to be more open and honest about what is sponsored and what is not. Some bloggers do it so well you might never notice until you squint at the small print at the bottom of their post. Luckily there are some easy ways to spot whether a post has been sponsored.

The first thing to clarify is that there is a difference between a sponsored post and an advertisement. An advertisement is when a blogger is paid to give a positive review on a product they have been sent. In this instance you will see a lot of bloggers using the word ‘ad’ in their post titles or social media captions. They are obliged to state that it is an ad in a clear way that is understandable to their audience. There is no strict wording to comply with so the blogger can articulate that it is an ad in whichever way they choose but the message must be clear.

Where it becomes murkier is when bloggers are gifted something to review but not expected to say all positive things. There isn’t a legal need to declare it as the blogger is still open to give an honest review. However, a lot of bloggers do use disclaimers to let their readers know when they have been sent an item for review so look out for that in a blog post. The same applies to sponsored posts, the blogger is still free to say what they like about the product, but it is the brands hope that the review will be positive!

In short, look out for the wording of the content you’re reading. If you clearly see the word ‘ad’, you’re being marketed too. If you see the words ‘collaboration’ or ‘sponsor’ then the content is likely to be honest, or as honest as it can be after money or free items have changed hands.

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I really hope this post has answered any questions you might have. If you want to know anything else or suggest a question for another blog post leave a comment below 🙂

 

 

These items were kindly sent to me. 

 

5 tips for working with brandsFor me, the best thing about blogging is being able to work with my favourite brands and discovering new ones. I still get excited to check my inbox or DM’s to see what opportunities have come up and I love coming home to a bundle of blogger mail. For the majority of the time brands are really friendly and helpful but there have been a couple of times when I’ve had bad experiences. That’s probably down to a mix of poor communication on both parts but here are a few ways you can avoid negative encounters.

Get Noticed

So firstly, if you want to work with brands but haven’t had a chance too yet, the best way to get the ball rolling is to sign up to websites like The Blogger Programme. These kind of sights allow you to create a profile which includes things like the subject of your blog and the amount of followers you have. Brands or individuals can search, view and follow your profile which makes it easier to find matches for your blog. You can also search for brands that are looking for bloggers to collaborate with and apply on their page.  I signed up to The Blogger Programme when I first started blogging and I’ve had some great opportunities come through this channel. It’s given me a chance to try brands I wouldn’t usually go for, which makes it a really useful tool not only for new bloggers but for any blogger.

Be Open

If you are contacted by a brand who want to work with you it is really important to be as transparent as you can be from the get-go. If you aren’t keen on the brand and you’re not sure if it would fit your style then let them know. Explain your doubts and find out how they see the collaboration working. Chances are they were attracted to your blog for a reason so bear that in mind before writing them off completely. At the same time, don’t be afraid to say no if you’re not feeling it. It’s really tempting to say yes to everything that comes your way but this can be damaging for your brand in the long run and confuse your readers. You could start to lose credibility by throwing anything and everything on your blog. The same goes if you are plan on charging brands for sponsored posts. Make sure you are clear about the prices as soon as they contact you to avoid confusion later on.

Reply To Emails

Sounds obvious but I’m definitely guilty of doing this which is downright bad manners! Of course you should reply to emails within a reasonable amount of time if you want to work with the company that has contacted you. But even if you are not interested, you should still reply and say so. You never know when you might come across that brand or person again and it doesn’t hurt to be nice. It is also a great way to build contacts and make friends. I’ve met a few good friends through working with them on my blog or social media so you never know who you are going to meet!

Be Helpful

Ok so you have struck up a bit of a relationship with your marketing contact at the brand you are working with and you want the partnership to continue. As well as being friendly and polite there are a couple of other things you can do. Try going the extra mile to help them do their job. For example, let them know when you have received the product they sent you or send them links to the post once it goes live. This is really helpful for them to keep track of the work they are doing with you and it also keeps you at the front of their mind. Something that I like to do for both our benefits is to send brands the images I take of their products. It means that they have the original high quality image which they can use on their social media which also gives me exposure to their followers. Obviously don’t spam their inbox with emails but when you work hard on a new post don’t be afraid to share it!

Stick To Your Word

This one is simple. If you say you are going to post on a specific date or time then stick to it. There will be times when you can’t deliver on the what you committed too, in which case let the brand know in advance if possible and suggest a new time. Sometimes brands like to plan their social media calendars based on when bloggers will post a new image of their items so bear this in mind when you think you might struggle to get something up in time. Doing this will also help you organise your content so that you can stay on top of your to-do list.

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When I first started blogging, I had a million questions I wanted to ask an experienced fashion blogger. It was such a new and exciting experience but at times I really wanted some guidance. Although I haven’t been blogging for all that long, I thought I would share with you a few things I have learned along the way. Whether you are a new blogger, or have been doing it for years, there a few things you should be prepared for!

1. The importance of imagery.

Taking pictures in itself can be one of the most fun but stressful things about blogging. Imagery is a big part of most fashion blogs and can really set the tone for your blog and social media. I think people underestimate the time and effort it takes to get blog-worthy images, especially if you are trying to theme your content. Although it is fun it can also be slightly daunting at the start if you choose to shoot in a public place. We can all get a bit self-conscious and think that people are watching us but the thing to remember is, we’re living in 2016. It is completely normal take pictures and videos in the street, no one will bat an eyelid so don’t worry! And let’s take a moment to appreciate the people who take our images. Whether it is an Instagram husband or boyfriend, your mum or dad or even just a friend, they bear the brunt of us bossing them around or moaning that the shots aren’t coming out as we want. They need to have the patience of a saint! I find the best way to minimise stress and wasted time is to decide on the type of images you want for that particular post and the location before you start. Once you have shot a few posts you’ll learn the best times to shoot for your location such as when it is least busy or when the lighting is right. It takes a bit of time but bare with it because once you have this down, it will take your blog to the next level.

2. Stay true to your own style.

This one is a bit of a cliche but it is something I wish someone had told me when I first started blogging. Once you have been blogging for a little while you may be approached by brands to work in collaboration with them. I remember when I was first asked, it was the most exciting thing. I couldn’t wait to receive the items and style them in my own way. But as more and more brands reached out, I found that I was losing my personal sense of style and getting swept away in creating content for their own purposes. While there is nothing wrong with that if it is what you want to do, it is important to remember that brands contacted you because they like your style. They think their brand would fit with your brand so work them in to your blog rather than creating your blog for them. If the collaboration is a good fit it will feel really natural. For me, it is really easy to tell when I am not fully committed to an outfit. I find the images do not turn out the way I want and I’m not too keen on putting the post out. When I am feeling a bit lost I always go back and look at my favourite posts to remind myself of my original style.

3. Keep it up.

Even if you LOVE blogging, even if you make your living from it, there will be times when it all gets a bit much. There are lots of things to juggle behind the scenes of a blog, from replying to emails, creating content or chasing payments. Unless you have a team behind you, most of the time you will have to do yourself. Before you know it, you can be swamped with work and deadlines are fast approaching. It is really important to organise your workload and prioritise what you need to do first. I find it’s helpful to have a content calendar that plans your content at least a month in advance. For me, the more time I have, the better the content is.

On the flipside, there will also be times when you are stumped for inspiration and lose interest in your blog. This is normal too, whether you feel like it for a day or a few weeks. We all go through phases when we’re uninspired and just not feeling the blogosphere at all. The key is to take a break from your blog. Doing something different for a while means that you will be thinking from a new perspective which can help you come up with fresh ideas. More often than not, you will have a sudden flash of genius when you are least expecting it and blogging will become exciting again.

 

I hope this post helps the new bloggers out there or even experienced bloggers who are just curious!