I love reading ‘how to’ posts on other people’s blogs, so I thought I may as well put together a few posts of my own sharing things I’ve learnt over the years, about blogging, work life, education, relationships and about looking after yourself. I feel like I’m in a good place in my life right now to be able to reflect on the past few years, and hopefully share some useful pointers with you.
First off, I’m going to keep it blog-related and share a few tips that will help to make your blog something that you can be proud of. I don’t have a huge following, or make tonnes of money from this blog, but nevertheless, I put a lot of work into it and can honestly say that I’m so damn proud of this thing. So I want to make sure that every blogger feels like that, whether you have 5 followers or 50,000, everyone should be proud of what they’re putting out there.
If you put the effort into your photos, whether it’s fashion, beauty, food or lifestyle, you will see a HUGE difference in the overall perceived quality of your blog. When I look back to my earlier posts I genuinely cringe at the horrendous photos I used to post. Indoor, out of focus, bad lighting, a mixture of widths, and so many other things that I just did’t even think about back then.
The first thing I’d recommend is to get someone to help you. If you’re going to be proud of your blog, you need to do so in real life, not just online, so ask someone to take your photos for you. It might be a parent, sibling, best friend or boyfriend, but whoever it is, I promise it will make your life so much easier! I used a tripod and remote by myself for years, I guess I was far too embarrassed to take the pictures in public, and definitely too embarrassed to pose while someone else takes them. But now I just ask my boyfriend to come out and about with me to take my pics and MY GOD, it’s so much better, I don’t know why I haven’t done this all along.
Once you’ve got your photographer sorted, take a few more minutes out before shooting your photos to consider a few main points that can transform your photos from 0 to 100- real quick.
Location– Rather than take them in your bedroom for the sake of privacy and ease, go somewhere bright and open. It doesn’t have to be any where far-fetched or fancy, just enough to not look like you’ve just popped the self timer on in in-front of your wardrobe. Adding depth to your photos by having plenty of space behind you will help to give your photos the blurry background and in-focus blogger look which works really well for outfit photos. Changing up your background helps keep things fresh I find, and helps to make every post unique.
Lighting– Daylight is awesome. Don’t get conned into thinking that you need to buy fancy lighting. Always get your blog photos taken in the daytime, and try and get outside. This will show off whatever it is you’re photographing in the best way possible. You have to be careful with direct sunlight though as your photos may become a bit over-exposed and harsh to look at, so try and get in the shade, under a big tree or wait for a cloud to pass, if you can.
Focus– It may sound a little obvious, but it pains me how many blogs I scroll through who include blurry pictures in their posts. This should just be an automatic no no if you care about the appearance of your blog. We’ve all been there when your shoot just doesn’t go to plan. That feeling when you go to edit your photos and they have all come out out blurry or dark is a killer, I know, the struggle is real. But posting them anyway just because you need a post that day is not the answer. Take a deep breath, and re-shoot the photos. That extra time will pay off when people show their appreciation for the post and you can genuinely be proud of what you’ve created.
Over the years my blog has seen various layouts. None of which I was ever happy with how they looked. I’m no HTML genius and I definitely didn’t have the money to invest in anything major, so for the first year and a half, Made In The 1990s was a pretty shoddy job by yours truly. Then I discover Pipdig and never looked back. My template is a pre-made one from their site and cost me a mere £29. I know a lot of you don’t want to be spending your money on a website code, but if your serious about your blog, I’d highly recommend investing in a clean-cut, professional layout. It’s a one off cost and will make the world of difference to how you feel towards your blog, as well as how your readers perceive it.
Photography ties into this one, but as well as taking great photos, the content of the image, and what you write to go with it, also needs to be strong in substance. You need to be engaging, and don’t try to be or copy any one else’s style. Just write how you want to write and make sure you don’t sound too boring (who wants to read a boring post?). Write something that you would want to read yourself! It’s important that you make your content as unique to you as you possibly can. I know it’s difficult when there are thousands of blogs out there doing exactly the same kind of thing as you, and sometimes you’ll feel like yours may as well not exist. But it should. If you pour the essence of who you are into your blog content and really let your personality shine through, in your images and your words, people will appreciate it.
Rolling on from the content section, as this one intertwines with content quite a lot. I’ve seen this tip countless times in other bloggers’ blog tips, but in recent months since starting this blog back up again in March, I’ve realised just how important it is to fully be you on your blog. It’s so easy to spot a fake, I’m sure you’ll all agree, so why be one of those people? It’s also important to remember that you can’t please everyone, so don’t even bother trying! In this big wide world of the internet, there is always going to be trolls out to get you, but never take any notice, just keep on being you and doing it the best you can. We are very lucky that the blogging community is extremely supportive, and is an honest and friendly media export, unlike the conventional tabloids, so it’s really not as scary as you might think out there!
You should never be disappointed in your own work, because at the end of the day you are the only one in control of it, so if there’s something you’re not happy with, change it. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Maybe I’ll go into that a bit more in a separate post, things could get deep.
Thanks for reading this essay of mine, let me know if you like this kind of post and what you want to see from me next!