New Year, New Blog.. FBL Chat returns!

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New Year, new starts. Let's face it, we have all heard this a million times before. We all start with the greatest of intentions at the start of the year and guiltily, pretend we didn't make these resolutions back in January. Blogs have a similar tendency to be full of new posts at the start of the year and then begin to wane as real life sets in. This week's FBLChat looked at what being a blogger means to us and what we are desperate to do to make a change to our blogs this year.

1)   How is blogging going for everyone? Are you still enjoying it as much as when you first started?

·       Blogging is slowly on an up. Loving it more now I'm getting to grips with it :) 

·       Not really hey. Instagram has taken over and I feel like people would rather check your instagram page than your actual blog. However, I'm still enjoying but not as much.

·       Haha! Oops! I feel like I've been busy too, but I've been doing barely anything! I'm still recovering from Christmas!

·       It does! It helped me find myself during a time when I was feeling very lost, and it's helped me build a really wonderful circle of friends! 

·       Been trying to find more time to create posts, but with an 11-month-old it's been a little tough. Will eventually find a balance that works! 

·       Yes hey. Building my instagram is the way to go now. The blog will still be there, but the focus will be 70% on Instagram and 30% on the blog

·       I recently rebranded my blog and am trying to post more consistently although right now that isn't going well. But I love blogging ! I'm currently trying to reach my goal of 100 email subscribers to my blog, which is definitely harder to obtain than it looks. 

·       I’m taking each day as it comes really, this is my third attempt at blogging, but I seem to be enjoying it more this time.

·       Hope I'm not too late. I'm enjoying blogging. I'm just about to hit my 2year anniversary since I started mine and I am still loving it. Yeah it does get me down sometime, but just need to not put so much pressure on things. 

·       Same! I have a 15 month old and with her running around and knocking everything over it can be hard to sit down and write up a blog post. But I wouldn't change any of it. I'm trying to write once she goes to bed. 

·       I actually get a decent amount of traffic to my blog from Instagram, so I always try to make sure that my blog is up to date with new content, while I'm constantly taking pictures for Instagram! It's all about finding that perfect balance.

·       I am but at the same time I'm still finding it oversaturated, so I'm trying to reflect and refresh my content.

 

2)   What demotivates you most about blogging?

·       I’d love to work with brands but most look at stats. My stats are great though I try hard.

·       Going through bloggers block and not being inspired.

·       Usually my own pressure really. If the weather doesn't allow me to take photos that totally gets me down, but I'm learning to not get so uptight about it. 

·       Seeing people complain about fulltime bloggers being paid to feature an item. They're making money doing something they love. That's awesome! It's goals. Support it.

·       The lack of diversity.

·       Having no ideas, and seeing such low view count! Know it shouldn’t be about the views but it hurts when you’ve worked so hard on something for it to feel ‘lost’.

·       Same here girl! I've reached out to a couple of brands but numbers are always their first priority, sadly. But we'll get there!

·       I’m a bit hit and miss with blogging, every so often I just need a break then I feel totally refreshed again!

·       I'm literally my own worst enemy when it comes to it! Thinking nothing that I write is good and then getting sucked into comparing myself to other bloggers who have been doing this for much longer than I am. I have to remind myself it's a process!

·       Getting caught up in stats.

·       When people follow & unfollow you it's frustrating. Especially when you want to reach a certain goal. That can be demotivating.

·       Bloggers block is so real. When I’m feeling inspired I make lists of posts and they sometimes get me through bloggers block.

·       I think sometimes I feel micro bloggers like myself get over-looked and that not all bloggers share the micro blogger love. Big bloggers love big bloggers. Newbie bloggers want to be big bloggers.. What about the middle guys!

·       The pressure everyone puts on themselves to hit numbers and keep producing content when things get busy/life gets in the way. Content = passion and this perspective makes it a bit demotivating sometimes as it definitely adds pressure!

·       I've been thinking of setting up a weekly or biweekly newsletter with exclusive content for those that subscribe to my blog.

·       I think I enjoy it more now because I don't put pressure on myself to post and I write more posts about things that concern me 

·       Being terrible at SEO and all the technical stuff

·       I agree! I've had my blog for seven years, and whilst it's not a big beast - it's always there whether I can give it my full attention or five minutes of my time in between work. It's like a companion that's always there and best enjoyed when there's no pressure!

·       Was just in a brand meeting with a client through work today though, and there are a lot of brands wanting to work with content producers who produce shit hot content and have engaged audiences. We just need to keep doing what we love and they'll turn away from this metric.

·       I know it shouldn't be about the numbers, but when you've worked hard on a post & the view count is low. I sometimes feel like my posts just aren't reaching many people.

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3)   What is the one thing you will do differently or change on your blog this year?

·       Focus more on traffic growth and maybe redo the pictures so it looks better #fblchat

·       CANNOT WAIT for summer. Daylight til 9pm is literally every blogger's dream!

·       Prep! Plan ahead and forecast post opportunities

·       I've already changed my layout but I want to do more collaborations with other bloggers.

·       I want to improve my photography & post better photos on my blog. I also want to do more reviews etc. 

·       If you have wordpress, there's a great plug-in that makes SEO amazingly easy! I used to be so bad at it, but this plug-in helped massively, and I'm actually seeing more page views too! It's called Yoast! 

·       I want to expand on my video capabilities and just create better content overall. 

·       I definitely need to be more consistent with my posts which is what I'm working on this year 

·       Be more consistent with my posting schedule and improve my photography skills.

·       Thinking to create an Instagram page for it. Currently I use Twitter & FB but I hear so much about the Instagram algorithm that I wonder if there's any point?

·       Me too! I've been using Yoast, which is a free plugin you can get if you're on Wordpress. It's very helpful and will tell you how you can improve your blog post as you write it.

·       Focus on producing content that I would want to read rather than following trends! That and make use of the Tailwind App which seems to have made a decent impact on my Insta engagement already!

·       Make my move over to lifestyle complete, look into moving away from blogger and post more! No biggies.

·       Agreed! I knew nothing about SEO until I started using the Yoast plugin, and their blog/newsletter has really useful tips too

·       Try to find a real niche and create better content!!

·       I'm not blogging for the sake of blogging any more. I'm only posting when I have something constructive to say & am 100% happy with how everything's written.

 

 

4)   What is your ultimate blogging goal?

·       I always find this hard to answer but probably to make a difference, work with some amazing brands and score a press trip to Fiji to write about the 10 uses of coconuts.

·       Share more of my travels openly and be honest in my writing. I feel like my tone changes for the audience and I’m trying not to do that. 

·       I don't really know to be honest. It would be fantastic if it could ever replace my day job, but just to keep enjoying it and have the same enthusiasm I have years down the line. 

·       To travel for a living and share my stories with the world. I live to travel and nothing else would make me happier. 

·       The real goal for me is not to become a full time blogger like most but just to be open to more opportunities for meeting new people.

·       I would love to maybe make an income from blogging but ultimately, I just want to continue doing something that I enjoy.

·       To earn a decent income from it. I took the plunge to go freelance last September as a content writer so it feels like a natural progression. 

·       My goal is to make the people who read my blog smile.

·       Overall I want to connect with readers, build a community and absolutely be able to make money from it one day! I don't know what this space will look like even five years down the line but I'm definitely excited about it!

·       To continue to enjoy what I do and meet more new people if I end up making money then so be it.

·       To share my experiences, and break the stigma surrounding mental health 😊

·       To meet other bloggers and youtubers who are in the same place and still building/establishing themselves.

5)   What will you do differently as a result of this chat?

·       I’m definitely going to go self-hosted after some great advice! 

·       Read more, comment more, blog more. Not particularly in that order. 

·       Try support others where poss - lots of talented people that need cheerleaders out there!

·       Try and connect with other bloggers more, be okay with the fact that I only blog when it fits in with a hectic, busy life and to continue to enjoy blogging.

·       It's reminded me that I need to communicate with others on here and not just lurk, scrolling for hours and hours on end haha.

·       Read more, write more, engage more, collab more, basically do MORE.

Don't forget to tune into FBLChat next week Tuesday at 8pm. 

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#FBLCHAT Christmas Blogging

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Christmas is one of those times of year where we all feel obliged to roll out our tartan scarves and start wandering through our nearest cities to take dreamy photos of all things festive. For bloggers, the season does add another layer of expectation where bloggers become obsessed with creating festive content using every tool available to them. This week's post looks at Christmas blogging and what it means to our community. 

1) How have you been preparing your blogs for Christmas?        

  • So far just researching blogmas ideas. 
  • I've made a list of 100 blogmas post ideas for my blog and I've narrowed them down. I've taken the past two days off from blogging so I can focus in mass writing.
  • I have a new header, thanks to @dorkfaceblog! And all my normally black sidebars etc have gone green 🎄🌟 & I have blogmas drafted! 
  • Does anything really prepare you for Christmas? So excited about all these new makeup brands and pop ups happening here in London though!
  • Not really, I mean I am only doing some recipes this year and maybe some gift guides. I did Blogmas once and it killed my creativity!🎇 

 

2) Would you ever consider doing blogmas (blogging everyday) in the run up to Christmas? 

  • Gonna do it for a second year in a row
  • Thus is my second year so I realised where I was weak last year and tried to improve upon it.
  • I've done it twice before and really enjoyed it 🎄. It's a lot of hard work and dedication but it is worth it. If anyone is thinking of doing #Blogmas, 
  • I did last year and planning to do it again this year. It's honestly so much funny and motivating when working within a theme too
  • I've done it before but it was a nightmare i'll do christmas content but nowhere near as much as blogmas needs.
  • I'd be worried I'd just rush to get content out for the sake of it! 
  •  I actually did it about 2 years ago, honestly it killed every creative bone in my body, but I applaud anyone who does it! 🎇 

3)What are your favourite festive posts to read?

  • I love seeing posts about the Christmas markets, how people enjoy celebrating, favourites of the year + recipes ❄️❤️.
  • Definitely recipes, I did a few last year and honestly they're some of my favourites to do. Can't wait to share this years!🎇 
  • It has got to be the Christmas recipes, and family disaster blogs. Everyone has them , so i love reading them!
  • I like reading about how people spend Christmas in their country/culture. Oh and posts about festive foods, those are mouth watering 😛 
  • I love recipe posts & gift ideas 💜 
  • Festive recipes or decorating diy’s. I’m a sucker for fairy lights and cake 😍😂 
  • I’d say recipe and gift ideas to be honest and like home wear Christmas decoration hauls 

4) What is the one thing you love most about Christmas?

  • Spending time with my family. This year will be extra special as it’s my sons first Christmas and he will be 5 1/2 months old. He loves the Christmas tree already! 
  • Spending time with family, honestly the best thing in the world!🎇 
  • Just the excitement and all the activities on the build up of it all 🙊🎄 
  • The build up. Spending time with family. The happiness in everyone. The food. Oh and of course, the day after: my birthday 😂🎁 
  • Gosh i sound so very bah humbug, but i've honestly never liked christmas. I now totally understand the classic 'being with family' responses. Ever since becoming a mum, i LOVE it. Maybe even a bit too much🙊 its the face my 2yr old son makes at all things festive. ❤️ 
  • Spending time with loved ones and the overall holiday cheer #fblchat 

We wish everyone a happy festive season and hope everyone has a great time celebrating with their families. Our next #FBLCHAT will be next Tuesday at 8pm. 

 

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Blogging Scandals

This month seems to be the month of blogging scandals with some big bloggers being discussed on our twitter feeds for various reasons. Over at #FBLChat we have been following them with great interest and wondering just what makes these blogging scandals so appealing. Catch up with our chat below and let us know what you think. 

Q1) Why do you blogging scandals become so big on twitter?

  • I think because of the retweet system on twitter. Is so easy for something to be shared and to be seen by everyone! 
  • 99% of the time, it gets out of hand and one opinion rolls into multiple. I think bloggers are protective of our community so if anyone represents negatively (e.g. the fur coat issue), we have a right to stand up + make our voices heard.
  • I think because things can be shared so easily on here, especially with retweets, that it's so simple for something to blow up really quickly! 
  • News spreads quickly in a community so vast, most people know or have heard of each other in the community!
  • Twitter makes it so easy to share things in a second. Things get around so quickly on Twitter and I’d say that’s the biggest reason why ‘scandals’ get so big - things spread around the blogging community SO fast.
  • Because its so easy for somebody to retweet things that it only takes a few minutes for it to reach a huge audience.
  • I think the blogging community are an opinionated bunch and things can be widely misinterpreted over social media! I also agree with the others about the retweeting - so easily done! 
  • I also think that lots of people find it difficult to accept that others have different views. Things often seem to become personal and can lead to individuals feeling even more strongly.
  • Unfortunately, yes. I love Twitter. But it’s also the social media I regretfully see the most “hate” on. It’s great to see people sharing their opinions, but I think there is a fine line between criticism and bullying! 

Q2) As a blogger, do you think it is important to know about blogging scandals? 

  • I’m not interested in the drama, I tend to avoid it and stay out of it.
  • I think it’s important to be clued-in and know what’s happening. Whether you’re a fan of the ‘big’ bloggers/YouTubers or not - I think we can learn a lot from their mistakes. 
  • I see the drama on my timeline and I continually scroll past it 🙄. It's extremely boring and when hundreds of people focus on one person, it's horrible. 
  • Don't think it's important. It's more important that people remember to be kind & don't start bashing someone because of something they've read/seen. There's a fine line between expressing your opinion to someone & bullying someone.
  • As a blogger I don't see it as being important at all. I try to stay away from the drama where I can.
  • I'm usually oblivious to the drama and I like it that way. It's stupid to bring someone down and spend days trash talking another blogger on twitter. I tend to mute any drama on twitter.
  • Yes it's okay to be aware, but I'm not sure I'll want to get involved. It's too stressful.
  • People are quite quick to go as far as tell people to kill themselves. Very heartless and it makes you question how people can be so blunt to a stranger online (or anyone, really)
  • No, tbh I don't even read it, I feel most of it is just childish petty behaviour and there are bigger things going on in the world. I just do me and focus on positivity, I'm here to enjoy my blog and the community.

Q3:What really annoys you about blogging scandals?

  • People bringing up past events. It's okay to talk about the current scandal, but why draw out things from the past? We're all humans we've made mistakes.
  • Don’t get me wrong, I really like social media - but I do think it’s encouraged an element of ‘competition’ amongst young girls.
  • Everyone jumps on the bandwagon and attacks one person. If someone privately DM'd to discuss their opinion to the person in the wrong, there would be no drama 🙌🏻. It doesn't make you a good person for calling someone out.
  • The whole ‘it was tweeted so it must be true!’ attitude. I think people should take the time to reflect and think before they share and comment. Accusing people wrongly when it came to Instagram bots is a huge example of that! People jumped on it SO quickly.
  • The fact that it often seems to resort to a mass-amount of people sending aggressive tweets to one person. I don’t even like seeing them on my feed, so god knows how that person must feel! 
  • Nothing really. It's not worth getting annoyed over. Nothing to do with moi 🙅🏻 But I don't like seeing people getting ripped apart. That's really nasty. 
  • That everyone believes what they read on social media and jumps on it. This whole dramatic tweets for a re-tweet really irks me. People's feelings are involved and they just want to be tweetafamous.
  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but people seem to jump in without considering that there are usually two sides to a story. That seems to be when things get nasty. Just seems so unnecessary & I can't understand why people want to encourage unpleasantness. 
  • People jumping on the bandwagon of hatred and using it as an excuse to say awful things about others. ie. "I've always thought she was a (insert horrible word/s here) and now everyone knows

Q4: Do you think there is an easier way for bloggers to tackle reputation issues?

  • This is a tricky one. On the one hand, it’s very respectful for them to publicly address the issue and try to “straighten things out”. On the other hand, it only lets more people know about them and can encourage an endless string of hate tweets etc.
  • Don't do it publicly, especially over a small issue. Try to resolve it like you'd resolve something at work--professionally and respectfully. Remember everyone is human and has feelings.
  • if it's a genuine mistake, apologise and move on.
  • Firstly things should be tackled privately. There's no need to publicly bash people. And if that does happen then address it ASAP & move on. 
  • Yes but then some person always ends up making a statement about your apology or misunderstanding and boom you get a barrage of hate mails.
  • Yes but then some person always ends up making a statement about your apology or misunderstanding and boom you get a barrage of hate mails.
  • Don't publicly bash people online - you wouldn't do it on a shop floor or an office floor it's the same thing. Just be respectable decent human beings please
  • Don't publicly bash people online - you wouldn't do it on a shop floor or an office floor it's the same thing. Just be respectable decent human beings please

Q5) Do you get involved in blogging scandals? Explain.

  • Personally would never take it public. DM or email privately would be the best option. There is no need to drag everyone else in to it.
  • If it's a issue about something like human/animal rights, I may retweet something in support of those fighting against it. But I won't go out and witch hunt people over personal disagreements
  • Nope! I avoid at all costs! I’m just here for funny gifs and sharing the love and support!
  • I avoid them. There's too much drama and the negativity isn't good for ones mental health. 

We hope you enjoyed this week's chat. Don't forget #fblchat takes place every Tuesday at 8pm! 

 

 

#FBLCHAT: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 Halloween has become a festive occasion this year that is being celebrated by people all over the world. The season has taken on a new meaning for bloggers with everyone trying to outdo each other by creating the most unique content for Halloween. This week’s FBL Chat looked at Halloween and what it meant to the blogging community.

Happy Halloween! How are all of you celebrating tonight?

·       Happy Halloween. I'm celebrating by watching a football match whilst curled up on the sofa with trick or treat sweets.

·       Handing out candy with the family. #spooky

·       We've just come back to Germany after a long weekend at home in Manchester so chilling out on the sofa watching TV!

·       Happy Halloween! I’m just chilling this evening having a nice cosy autumn meal.

·       I’ve decided it’s the perfect night to start rewatching #GameOfThrones from the start - so on theme!  #halloweengrinch

·       Getting my spooky fix tonight by binge watching #StrangerThingsS2 and eating lots of sweets.

·       Taking my brother trick or treating! I've done it since he was little and I love it!

·       Today is my Mom's birthday and we are gonna take her out dinner, open gifts and eat candy! 

·       Watching Jumanji. It's a tradition I started with my Nan and despite her no longer being here, I still do it.

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What are your favourite blog posts to read about Halloween?

 

 

·       I love seeing everyone's Halloween costumes! I'm not one to dress up but I love seeing everyone else. 

 

·       Halloween baking is always one I love. People get really creative.

·       I enjoy seeing how create people get with their costumes, especially family costumes.

·       Halloween style treats and desserts! Some bloggers seriously come up with the cutest ideas.

·       I love Halloween make up posts. @Zoella is one of my faves to read when it comes to festive style posts, she gets stuck right in!

·       Home decor and Halloween recipes

·       Ooo beauty posts! Seen so many amazing Halloween makeup looks! 

What makes Halloween special to you?

·       Watching Hocus Pocus every Halloween with my sister but now my baby nephews join in too.

·       Just the fact it's Mom's birthday & all those years of Halloween growing up she put my siblings & me first now we get return the favour.

·       Growing up, I loved spending it with my family! Now that I live too far away I spend it with my friends, which is just as nice.

·       Am super excited to have my first Halloween with my grandkids. Can't wait to see what costumes my daughter picked out for the twins.

·       Being able to help my brother with his costume. We've done for a couple of years, it brings us closer together <3

·       Just being able to spend it with my family. I've been away for 5 years, but I'm living in the area again.

·       Would have to be seeing all everyone get into it with costumes and candy and watching films. Love that it brings people together.

·       Watching horror films with my partner every year love it!

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What is your favourite scary movie?

·       I mean I wouldn’t say favourite but Annabelle scared the hell out of me 😩 #FBLChat

·       The Babadook! it is TERRIFYING! 

·       I don't do scary films. Can just about cope with Jumanji. I've seen The Woman In Black twice and that frightens me quite a lot. 

·       Does the Nightmare Before Christmas count?

·       Freddie Krueger movies, all of them gave me nightmares.

·       The Saw movies! That creepy clown though!

·       I love horror films but my favourite is Texas Chainsaw Massacre, me and my partner saw it on our first date. #weirdiknow 

·       Hellraiser

·       So many to choose from but as a family we always get together and watch the classics like Halloween and Friday the 13th.

·       For some reason the Annabelle series.

·       Wait just remembered, I like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" that is a classic for my brother, sister and me! 

·       I could watch "Scream" thousands time and never get bored.

·       I'd say The Exorcist is one of my top ones. I did a blog on top scary films if you're looking for inspo. #FBLChat ldnrose.com/2017/10/21/top…

·       The Ring. I couldn’t sleep for a week! 

Share with us your favourite Halloween traditions?

·       We got 2 Disney pumpkins from Florida when we were children. Still light them every year, they are 17 years old now.

·       Don't really have traditions as such. Just go with the flow. 

·       Every year I buy myself a glass pumpkin from @HomesenseUK as a little treat to myself. 

·       Carving pumpkins with the family. Always a fun tradition.

We hope you enjoyed our FBL Chat this week. We will be taking a break from the chat for the next couple of weeks but will be back on Tuesday 21st November at 8pm. Let us know on twitter what you want us to talk about next!

 

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#FBLCHAT: BLOGGER PHOTOGRAPHY

When blogging first came to the world, it was all about having good content. This meant a well written blog with some photos attached to it to illustrate what you were talking about. Fast forward to present day and blogging photography has taken on a whole new meaning. Blogging is not just about the content but the photos are now taking centre stage with more and more bloggers going the extra mile to create glossy photographs which previously were reserved to fashion photography in magazines. This week’s #Fblchat looked at photography for blogging and whether it really is so important.

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Q1) How important is to have good photos with your blog posts? 

·       I find it massively important, I think people are more likely to view a post if they’re greeted with a lovely picture 

·       I think it's pretty important, it's definitely what I struggle the most with!

·       Photos are very important for a blog post, but so is having your personality come across to readers

·       I love photos as I feel like they speak a thousand words

·       I think they help readers stay engaged with what they're reading.

·       Photos are important, I'm a very visual person, but the important thing is they're clear 

·       I think it is so important...Pictures can tell more than words sometimes. It definitely helps with the styling of the post too.

·       It's so true! I can't think the amount of times a post has caught my eye just because of the photos! 

·       Photos are super important! Especially for visual and creative people. One photo can say a thousand words!

·       Photography quality is a make or break thing for me when it comes to blog posts!

·       Photos draw me in and make me feel intrigued 

·       Photos make a post look more attractive and can also help the reader to take inn the content better!

·       I think the visual element it provides is definitely needed! But there should always be a good balance

·       Pictures are a message to my audience in a way, before you read the post you should be able to get the summary merely looking at the photo.

·       Yes, it is so disappointing reading a blog post that has beautiful photos but the rest is unoriginal/not much thought has gone into it! 

·       At the end of the day, online you're competing with so much 'noise', visuals can be your best shot at standing out.

·       I feel like sometimes it can make or break a blog. Obviously not everyone’s a professional but obvious effort and clear photos are key.

Q2) What do you use to take photos on now for your blog?

·       I flit between my phone and my Sony A5000 which I'm still trying to figure out!

·       I use my iPhone 7 Plus and the quality is unreal 

·       I’ve been using my Olympus Pen

·       I have an Olympus Pen E-PL7. I love it though, fingers crossed I get my new lens for Christmas.

·       I use my point and shoot camera (Canon Powershot SX720 HS) or my phone (Samsung Galaxy S6)

·       I used my phone... a Samsung galaxy j5prime. It's bin awesome. I hope to get a professional camera soon.

·       iPhone 7. Looking to get a camera soon but for now it goes the job. It's not about the tools you have, it's how you use them

·       I’m currently using my iPhone 7+ with portrait mode (lifesaver for those without proper cameras) but saving for an Olympus Pen

·       A Canon 6D DSLR when outside, fashion ootds etc, then a Canon 600D with a 50m lense inside for products/filming videos. 

·       I have iPhone 8plus and my pictures are tons better than the iPhone 6 I had!!

·       I love my S8. Takes so many good pictures.

 

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Q3) What do you wish you could use to create photos for your blog?

·       I need lighting equipment!

·       I wish I had a ring light, and beauty box light. Lighting is important, and it bugs me!

·       I'd love to have better flatlay skills like @laurzrah has

·       If we’re not just talking cameras then my wishlist has a light studio from amazon on it. Gives white light and background enclosed in box

·       100% need lighting, I use natural light and it's good but inconsistent - it means I'm limited to certain days due to time! 

Q4) Do you think text only blogs have a space in the blogosphere? 

·       Everyone has space in the blogosphere, text, no text, pics only, no pics, videos, sound clips so on. Some people prefer to read more.

·       I think it depends what the topic/brand of the blog is. I used to read an anonymous fashionista blog, about her life. Loved it.

·       I think there is a space for everyone in the blogosphere, everyone brings something different to the table.

·       Yeah I’d say so. Especially those who can write in such a way that you can ‘see’ what they’re talking about just through their words!

·       Yes definitely, think the blogging world would be boring if all blogs were the same

·       If the topic is strong enough then yeah why not. But certain posts like beauty reviews wouldn't work without photos. 

·       That fact that we are all unique means we can spread that uniqueness with the blogosphere! I  like just being myself on my blog!

·       Definitely. Blogs started with only text/articles. Blogs have a ton of knowledge you'll only if you read. Knowledge is power. 

Q5) What is your one tip to improve blogger photography? 

·       Practice, take inspiration from fellow bloggers and mix up your props

·       Honestly lighting does it for me! Good, bright lighting always improves a picture! 

·       Lighting. Natural light if possible such as in front of window. Outside if not in sunlight or risking shadows.

·       Keep practising and experimenting with what works for you

·       Practice! Experiment with props, backgrounds and settings! Watch YouTube tutorials... Don't be scared to try new things.

·       Although I joke about seeking a pro, but capture the light, tap screen to focus, don't zoom in MOVE CLOSER, use apps to rid blemishes

·       Don't be afraid to experiment with colours, backgrounds & props etc. There's more to photography than marble backgrounds

·       Don't feel you have to have a fancy camera to start!!! Just an phone works wonders if you make an effort to edit them well

·       Practice and experiment, don't just leave it for when you're blogging but take photos day to day just to try out different things!

 

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#FBLCHAT: Finding your blog's niche

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One of the things that really struck me about blogging when I was starting out was how difficult it was to try and get a following. There were lots of bloggers out there and I couldn’t figure out who I was in an already saturated market. Upon research, I found that there was a real emphasis on having a specific niche blog so people knew who you were from seeing your content at first sight. In this week’s #FBLChat we looked at how to find your blogging niche and whether it is important to have one.

Do you think it is important to have a blogging niche?

  • I think its important for followers to know what to expect from your blog. Whether it is niche or not. 
  • Yes and no, I think it ultimately depends if you want to specialise in one area OR just be a bit of everything.
  • I think so. It makes your platform easier to market and can keep you on track with the content you’re posting
  • I think it helps define your blog, but I don't think it has to be crazy specific and it certainly doesn't have to be a barrier 
  • I don't think your blog has to have a specific niche of topic, a blog's niche you! There is only one you!
  • A blogging niche allows you to stand out from the crowd and to build a loyal readership.
  • It depends on your overall vision & goals. Some bloggers are very specific to one niche while others aren't & both styles work! 
  • I think it helps for people to understand what to expect from you.
  • It helps your readers know what to expect and what content they can find on your blog. #fblchat
  • Yes and no! it's good people know what to expect when they follow you, but also you should write about what makes you happy! 
  • I think it's important to have a niche, but remain open minded because sometimes your niche may have different levels to explore.
  • Having a focus is great, but your blog is about you! So as long as you are passionate about what you write, you're good! 
  • You need to write about what you love, sometimes that's niche, sometimes not. I'm a lifestyle blogger & that can be very broad! 
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How did you choose what you wanted to blog about?

  • I’ve always had an interest in beauty, so it was an easy decision! 
  • I discovered blogging through fashion magazines and used to want to be a fashion journalist, so my blog centred around that.
  • I love beauty so that was easy, and everything else is purely what I enjoy and feel happy writing at the time! 
  • I knew I wanted to study fashion at college, so it felt natural to be a personal style blog. But over the years I've become more lifestyle
  • I initially wanted to write about college life but I decided that writing authentically about my entire life/vlogging was my passion.
  • Choosing things you'd want to read about is a good place to start, and what you are interested in /hobbies as it's easier to write about!
  • I'm blogging anonymously mainly about anything & everything that I love for me my blog has always been a way for me to express & escape 
  • I blog about what I really want to talk about, my blog is a reflection of me & I adore having such a creative platform!
  • Being fat and into fashion, I was always made to feel like the two don't go hand in hand so I decided to blog about it.
  • My love of books gave me the passion to start a blog and 5 years later, I'm still here recommending books.
  • I wanted to write for fashion magazines, so my original blog centred around that. Now, my new blog is similar but a bit more open! 
  • I started with my style as I loved browsing through style inspiration and it started to develop into beauty, life, travel, etc! 

What do you think makes your blog special?

  • My personality.
  • Me! And by that I mean my voice, I try to stay authentic to who I am. I write like a think and that seems to go down well.
  • Everyone's blog is beyond special, we put so much love, time and care into our blogs, but what makes it special is us!
  • It's run by me and I'm special.
  • I think my newfound love of photography is really helping my latest content stand out. 
  • I like to think my life experiences, passion & integrity shine through in my writing & that in turn helps others & they can relate! 
  • It’s my content, which is all thought about and written by me!
  • Blogging about 7 different topics should hopefully make my blog special (highly unlikely though!).
  • Everything comes from the heart & experience. I have a genuine passion & love for what I do & I'd like to think that shows.
  • I think just that it's done by me and everything from my style of writing, editing photos and blog layout/theme is unique to me & my style!
  • Everyone's blog is special because each one if different. I'm currently writing my life story series which my readers are enjoying.
  • I was an architecture student from the Caribbean that also had an interest in fashion and liked to read.

What is the quirkiest blog you have come across?

  • I once read a blog which was dedicated to alarm clocks.
  • That's a hard one... saw one about conspiracy theories once and loved it!
  • I saw one about a woman's experiences working as a phone-sex worker - completely hooked on it though!

How do you think someone can make their blog more unique?

  • Simple. Write for yourself. Write what you would wanna read. Don't conform.
  • Don't try and be anyone else! Just be yourself and write what you want to write about.
  • Always resist the temptation to compare yourself to others and put yourself down. Write about what your passionate about! 
  • Be yourself and find your voice. Love the reason you blog and write about what your passionate about. 
  • Personalization is really important. Find a niche and deliver your content in a unique way.

I hope you enjoyed our #fblchat this week, don’t forget to tune next Tuesday at 8pm for our next chat!

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FBLCHAT: HOW TO GET ENGAGEMENT ON YOUR BLOG?

 

 

You have written the post, taken beautiful arty photos and published the post but you have only had three people read your post. You start questioning yourself – what did I do wrong? Why does no one want to read my post? Am I a terrible blogger? Worry not dear reader, it is not all bad news. This week’s #fblchat focused on how to get engagement on your blog posts and here is a quick recap of some the fantastic tips we shared.

Emma Louise @owlsandstags

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1) How do you get real engagement on your blog?

·       Asking questions as part of your post allows people to interact with your blog posts

·       Commenting on other blogs

·       Focus on returning readers by tailoring content to them

·       Promote your posts on twitter regularly

·       Linking to other blog posts within new posts

·       Twitter chats

Mr Luke Christian @MrLukeChristian

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2) Why do you think it is important to get a large following on your blog?

·       Having a large following makes you feel more productive and wanted for doing something enjoyable and opens up other opportunities.

·       It can be great especially if having a large following inspires you to put out good content regularly

·       I don't think it's necessarily important, I just feel that it is nice to get recognised for your hard work.

·       I'd rather a smaller following and more engagement. That being said I guess it's important as it means your reaching more people

·       I want my blog to reach girls who are at a transition point in their life. I also hope to be able to call myself an influencer one day.

·       Having a large blog following isn't important at all. Focus on your content and your returning readers

·       I feel as if as long as I write and create things I’m proud of it shouldn’t matter how many readers I have

·       I think it's important because the more people you have read your blog, the more you want to keep posting & improving what you produce.

3) How do you think new bloggers can get real engagement on their blog posts?

·       I mainly post my blog on twitter with #hashtag & #facebook. I also try to reply to all comments & read other #blogs #fblchat

·       Find their niche and interact with similar blogs. It takes time but its worth it.

·       Build up a rapport on social media & being real/true! No point commenting on posts that don't interest you just for the sake of it.

·       Try to be consistent and don't expect them to stumble upon you So engage on social media and share stuff.

·       Writing for passion and not for views will make you genuinely enjoy blogging, the engagement will follow!

·       Be yourself and write about what you want. Also join in twitter chats.

·       New bloggers can get engagement just like everyone else: schedule tweets, engage, be part of the community

·       I think its important to blog regularly, blog what is important too you I think Wordpress its better for a following 

·       Social media referrals are a big traffic for me.

·       Keeping their posts unique not following the crowd & giving each post a purpose. Being consistent is key too

·       Cross promoting on social channels & making sure you interact with readers who leave comments

4) Do you know of any bloggers who get engagement right?

·       @QueenBeady does IG engagement extremely well. She's incredible at promoting and helping others! 

·       @blogabtnothing1 @justauni4orm@KasieBeauty @_beccawhiting @Aysh_tmb@love_lippy @LoveRosiee1 @hayley_colleen@lovelibbyxx so many #fblchat

·       I think @Hannahfgale and @Wonderful_U get engagement right #fblchat

Don’t forget to join us for our next #Fblchat next week when we talk about YouTube, Tuesdays at 8pm on Twitter!

Chelcie Nicole Moore @chelcienicolem

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KIEHL’S ULTIMATE STRENGTH HAND SALVE

KIEHL’S ULTIMATE STRENGTH HAND SALVE

Let's face it. We all take our hands for granted, and many of us may forget to look after them, and include them in our grooming routine! Well, that's where the KIEHL'S 'Ultimate Strength Hand Salve' comes in. I had been lucky enough to have been sent this hand cream to try out, and as a lover of KIEHL'S, it comes as no surprise that this has become a new favourite! 

 

The product states that it is 'All-day care for severely dry, active hands' and it contains a blend of botanical oils such as Avacado, Eucalyptus and Sesame Seed, as well as Natural Wax derived from Olive Oil. Only a small amount of this is needed in the palm of your hands, and then massaged thoroughly into the skin. I'll admit, on my first attempt with this, I perhaps used a little too much and found the product rather gloopy and sticky so I strongly advise you only use a little pea-sized amount! 

My hands felt smoother afterwards and not as rough as they often do! You can purchase the KIEHL'S 'Ultimate Strength Hand Salve' here. Have you tried this hand salve before? Do you have any other favourites by KIEHL'S? Let us know your thoughts, as we'd love to hear from you!

 

 

5 ways to get over heartbreak

5 ways to get over heartbreak

 

I'd say the first time I ever experienced a mini-heartbreak was when I was 12 years old. I liked this guy (we'd been talking on MSN for a couple months, as you do), and the rumour around the year was that he was supposed to ask me out on a Friday, but on the Thursday, I found out he had already asked out another girl! The first time I actually cried over a guy was when I was 17, it was the first time I had actually been on seeing-each-other terms with a guy, but quickly found out that the guy I was supposedly seeing <em>wasn't</em> seeing me, actually it turns out he was seeing every girl in South East London. Heartbreak is good and bad, and we will all experience it at some point; it's bad because, let's face it, it hurts. But it's good because you get to learn a lot about yourself, how people work, and position yourself such that you're better able to deal with heartbreak in the future...

 

Give yourself some time to feel the pain

You don't have to be super woman all the time, and if you're going through a heartbreak, you totally have permission to just feel the pain... for a while. I'm saying - let yourself cry in bed, pig out, reminisce - whatever it takes - just get the pain out. But try and keep this short, because you need to get back up really soon to continue to slay.

 Stay in the company of other people

I've found in the past that if I've ever been upset over someone, staying in the company of others has helped to really get my mind off of it. Not only are your friends and family able to give you advice regarding the situation, but just <em>keeping busy</em> can take your mind off of the pain, because it's often when you're alone that you start to reminisce, and if you're not careful you end up in a spiral of constantly feeling sorry for yourself.

 Enjoy the single life

Sometimes, if you've been speaking to someone in a while, I find it quite refreshing to just take some time to enjoy being single. This doesn't have to mean 'getting around' (unless that's what floats your boat), but it can just mean not yearning to be seeing someone or in a relationship at all times, which a lot of us do. It can definitely be a shift to your lifestyle when you go from talking to someone every day to never talking to them again... but it happens, everyone will have go through it at a point, and you deal with it. It's important to know how to enjoy your own time and your own company and not feel, especially as this young age, like you <em>need</em> someone else to make you happy.

 Remember why it ended

A lot of people have the issue of going back to someone once everything has already been signed off, and sometimes this is okay, especially if issues have been resolved. But a lot of the time, it does no good except from holding you back from moving on. Remembering why things ended will help you get over the situation and it'll most likely be a constant reminder of why you need to move on from everything. And if it ended badly? This brings back up the anger and makes sure you never go back.

 

5. Learn from it

Every time you're involved with someone and things don't work out, you learn a bit more for the next time. With the guy I was talking to when I was 17, it got me a bit out of my naive mindset and made me realise that some boys really do have tons of girls on the go, and it's not just something you read about on social media. When I got hurt in my first year of uni, it made me learn that I can't ever let myself be treated without any respect, and that I should never settle or feel bad for thinking that someone isn't quite up to the level I'm expecting in another half. It helps you filter out the crappy people in the future, and hopefully helps lead you more easily to someone you're suited to and to someone that makes you happy, which is exactly what happened in my case.

 

Let's get a conversation going. What are you top tips for getting over heartbreak? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Have a relationship question that you want answered on the blog? Ask anonymously righttt here.

 

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