31 July 2013

from my desk : Advice on blogging


When I first started out blogging 5 years ago, it wasn't really the done thing for the individual everyday human, myspace was the in thing and Facebook but writing full paragraphs about yourself on a social media platform wasn't really done by the masses like it is now. So its really only in the last 3 years ( thanks to twitter) that personally I have started to call myself a blogger. I hope to share a little bit of knowledge that I have picked up and maybe you can take something from my ramblings.

Have Passion

One of my main pieces of advice is, blog about something you are passionate about. I have tried to be enticed by make up and beauty blogs but it something i am not passionate about, it really isn't my cup of tea. When I first started blogging there really wasn't sections of bloggers or anything like lifestyle bloggers, art, fashion etc, so it was good to take the choice to focus on something you like yourself (there was no pressure because no one read it). Make a list of things you love thinking, reading and writing about, I do this most days, it helps you focus on what you want to write.

Writing and Planning

If like me writing isn't your strong point, then blogging can seem so intimidating and a bit scary. My first blog posts I never really penned anything because of an overwhelming fear of being ridiculed ( umm hello 2009). I never thought one day thousands of people a day would read my words and actually understand them. I found this the biggest challenge as a Dyslexic person to put yourself out there. Now if you are like me, with this fear. Squish it, write, re-write and get yourself out there, DON'T I repeat don't let it hold you back. I totally understand its hard, but if you make your pictures pretty enough who cares! haha Remember your strengths and work on your weaknesses life's to short to fear failure. Anyway I just want to throw this in the face of all my teachers who told me "Ella doesn't have the aptitude for reading or writing she won't go far," well....they stand corrected.

If planning really isn't for you, then I suggest you just throw yourself into it, this is a little how i work. My most planned blog post can become a bit of a chore and how i write as a dyslexic person is very sporadic, I embrace both ways and work somewhere in the middle. Try and find what is best for you.
Fear of negativity

I get a lot of emails from young girls wanting to start blogging with a fear of sharing and a fear of online trolls, Don't be worried about negativity from readers or an anonymous commenter, in life we will unfortunately come across people who don't agree with everything we do, wear and love, it doesn't make what you are doing wrong, it just makes those readers wrong for you. Do not sway from your passion. You may not be slender with clothes that fall correctly on you, or you fear you lack artistic skills all that matters to readers is that they can relate and care about what you write about. Take a moment to think about all of your good qualities and write those down and no not worry about things you don't like or fear for everything is the way it is for a reason and can be changed (if you want to)

Dont's!

For the love of all things holy, DO NOT, i repeat do not go into blogging from free items from PR companies. Its just not the done thing. Also Don't take content from other bloggers that's just not nice, or copy illustrations or paste other peoples work into your blog without permission.


Jealousy 

As human beings we have a tendency to turn into the green eyed monster when we see something we want or to be like another person. I suggest you live and learn from it. I had moments when I was a little like why is my blog not that successful, why don't companies contact me? that's ok we all feel sometimes, that life can be a little unfair and not lean our way, but with time if you embrace the fact that these things right now aren't happening for you and will one day it makes it easier. Also work harder, these things don't get given to everyone on a plate, change and keep moving. If you want something, work a little harder for it. You will feel more grateful in the end.

Aesthetics 

Sometimes you feel more like blogging if the blog itself is pleasing to look at, I used the simple blog editing tools that come with blogspot and then I hire Abby to create my layout. Its a lovely feeling having a nice place to write that when you look at it makes you smile, you can always ask for advice on twitter from people or on forums about html coding.

This also links in with a lot of emails I receive about help with layout and advice on photos my personal preference if the bigger the photo the better. When I first started out blogging you could drag the photo from your dashboard onto blogger and bam! you had a photo to blog about but this wasn't ideal I couldn't re size the photo. So I decided to do my research and I picked up a thing or two. I looked at other blogs and how they optimise their layout and websites out and I decided that I wanted my focal point to be my photos. Find what yours is, is it your ads, your writing or your art work?

Sharing your blog 

Now this was a major stumbling block for me...I blogged for FOUR whole years in secret, I told no one in my friendship circle or family. Sheer embarrassment would probably cut it, they wouldn't understand, its so self indulged, everyone would think I'm odd. Well it wasn't until I was nominated for best lifestyle blog with Cosmo Magazine that I had to tell my family. Mum and my sister were over the Moon and dad well he didn't get it but he was pleased for me. My brothers ( minus the youngest) still think its a bit odd, but to be fair I am a bit odd so it all worked out quite well.
Since I told people, my brother has set one up called wide eyes, and a few friends have too. (Its still an odd feeling when people you know read about you on your blog) For me it felt right to keep my hobby to myself until I was ready to share it. If you are unable or basically unwilling to tell people that is ok, but you wouldn't believe how much of a relief and how much bigger I have grown as a blogger being able to gain help and understanding from friends and family. And if you are a little odd like me any they expect it so share it with the world.

Quick Points

- Share other people work, blogs and fashion on your blog. Its nice not to always blog about yourself but to share other with your readers, creates good Karma.
- Believe in yourself, its as simple as that. No matter how down I am feeling the belief in what I do gets me through the sad times onto the happy times.
- Use twitter as a great place to socialise and meet like minded bloggers.
- Go on adventures, people love to see what you get up to, make it fun and use your blog to get you out of the house there is so much to see.
- Don't forget to laugh at yourself everyone loves an outtake post.
- don't ever apologies for not blogging, I find it doesn't matter too much if people follow what you write and what you do they won't mind if you haven't posted and don't start to feel guilty a break is good.
- make a point of looking at the everyday on your blog, you don't realize sometimes how beautiful the simple things are "The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life" I live by this quote from William Morris.
- create something beautiful. 

Illustration by Ella Masters do not re-post, steal or reuse without my consent copywrite of Ella Masters 2013
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26 comments

  1. Thank you for this advice Ella :) spot on, as always. Have a great day x

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  2. love this ella! i've always thought the main reason people should be blogging is passion, whatever that passion is for. doesn't matter how often they post or whether they're an amazing writer or not ..if you love what you're talking about it shows and people respond to that!

    i also TOTALLY agree that it's best to stick to whats best for YOU when it comes to scheduling and actually putting out posts. some people prefer writing when they feel like it but scheduling in advance, some people prefer totally spur of the moment, and some people like it a bit inbetween. it's all about finding the right balance for you :)

    your blog has been going for a long time, i hope you are so proud of what you've acheived :) i am proud of you!

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  3. Love this post so much! You must be really proud of all you've achieved

    Chloe xxxx

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  4. Hi Ella,

    Your advice is great and so is your blog. I haven't been following you for long and have just started a blog of my own on the side of my make up artist website, but its funny because a lot of what I blog about isn't make up! But I am a bit like that - all over the place with my interests - wish I could hone them in a bit more. Your art is lovely and its clear you are going to be a very successful lady, keep inspiring people :)

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  5. Love this blog soooo much x love hearing what you have to say :)

    http://thingsthatmakemesmileinclude.blogspot.com

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  6. This is all true. I've learned it in the last 1,5 year of my blogging and now I wish I believed in it and understood it earlier. The hardest thing was finding a main thought of my blog but I think I already have it;) x, Julia

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  7. This is fantastic advice. I am a relatively newbie blogger so I will definitely be taking this onboard. Thankyou very much.
    Ellie
    xxxxx
    www.welliescrochetandcows.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Such a lovely post Ella, and great advice here. Don't sweat the small stuff! :) x

    Adrienne | Late Night Nonsense | Bloglovin'

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  9. Thanks for the great advice!
    www.rosesjaunes.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Love this, having only been blogging about 7 months it's nice to be reminded that even the most successful blogs started out the same way once upon a time!

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  11. I'm a new reader and I love your blog! Thanks for sharing these tips. I am guilty of apologising when not blogging. The illustration is so adorable.

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  12. this is amazing & inspiring and so what i needed right now.

    you and your blog are adorable. thank you for sharing!
    xoxo
    jules

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  13. I love this post, thank you!

    I've blogged for a few years and it does get very tiring not being successful or "out there" even though I am trying, so thank you for the reassurance to keep trying and believing in myself!

    Aimée x
    http://www.xthelostgirl.blogspot.co.uk/

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  14. Great advice. I've been blogging for a long time now but I still struggle from time to time :) xxx

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  15. I love this post!
    The illustration is stupidly cute too!
    :)

    Emily / Glittery Teacups

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  16. Totally what I needed to read right now! Losing motivation to blog at the moment.
    I only started my blog late last year and I was terrified of writing in general. Being dyslexic too, writings not being my strongest point. But I through myself into writing a intro blog and slowly started writing my work & life.

    Ashley Jayne. xx
    ashleyjayneillustration.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. Brilliant!! I love this post!! xo

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  18. This is such good advice!
    I also have dyslexia and that is one of the main reasons why I keep starting and stopping my blog, simply because of I find myself comparing how I write to others.
    Thankyou for the reassurance that I can do this and shouldn't be worried about that.

    x Keeley

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  19. This is wonderful advice Ella!
    It is so nice to know that it is OK to feel a little vulnerable putting yourself out there.
    Thank you :)

    Jade x

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  20. This is so true, especially the bit about jealousy! I've also been blogging for years, before it became the hype, but it's so lovely to see new people emerging from it and sharing their passions :) x

    The Little Things

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  21. Thank you for your advice Ella, for a few years now I have been reading so many inspiring blogs and 3 months ago I finally decided to take the plunge and make my own. At first I was a bit nervous about posting about my life and posting my own photography from the places I've been because there are so many 'bigger' and 'well known' blogs out there, well I was worried that people would not bother reading my posts. But now I feel a lot more confident about it and while I may not be a very well known blog, I'm really enjoying writing about my hobbies and the beautiful places I've been :)xx

    Charlotte | charolivia.blogspot.com

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  22. Thank you for this lovely post! I've been blogging for about a year, but I'm still getting the hang of it. This is really helpful :) x

    janesjumbles.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. Thanks for the tips!
    Sophie

    http://olivia-and-sophie.blogspot.co.uk/

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  24. Great tips! With you on the Sharing Your Blog point. It took me a long time to actually admit to people that I have a blog, but am always surprised at the positive reaction I do share it :) my best friend's even set one up now!
    xoxo

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  25. I start blogging two weeks ago. Thank you for this post. You gave me the courage and hope that my passion for illustration and art will ever be appreciated!

    illustranja.blogspot.com

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  26. Really great and inspiring post, Ella. I agree with everything you said. Be passionate, creative and indulge ourselves with writing. :)

    Arra
    Style Reader

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Ella
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