Now that I have been blogging almost a year, I feel its time to pass on some of my wisdom (chuckles! lol) so I thought I would share some hints and tips I've learnt along my way so far.
Always be yourself
A bit of an obvious tip really but I have noticed that bloggers can sometimes fall into the trap of posting about the same product as everyone else. Don't just buy something to review because everyone else is, especially if you're not going to use it again or if you can't afford it. Personally I would rather see a review of a high street product because I know I will be able to buy it!
Only blog when you want to
Remember it's your blog so you blog when you feel inspired, don't feel pressured into writing posts, as this will affect your writing and your readers will know. If your readers are reading your blog because you like it, they'll still be there if you take a few weeks off.
Join blogger groups on twitter
On Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8pm (UK time) there is a beauty bloggers chat on twitter - you can join in by using the #bbloggers at the end of your tweet. On Wednesday it is a free for all chat but on Sunday it is a topic. You can vote for your favourite topic on the #bbloggers blog page here.There is also a lifestyle bloggers chat on Twitter every Sunday evening at 7pm which you can join using the #lbloggers. At the end of all the chats, there is an opportunity to share your blog link so people can check out and follow your blog.
Don't worry about your number of followers
When I first started blogging, for a few weeks I only had two followers! The lovely Victoria and Islaay. As they were both big bloggers they taught me not to worry about the number of followers I had as they both started out that way too. I must admit I did get hung up on follower numbers for a few months and considered giving up blogging because I felt like no-one wanted to hear my little ramblings, but after joining the twitter chats I talked to a lot of like minded people and I started to gain followers. I realised that the numbers aren't important as I was blogging because I wanted to.
Be honest in your reviews
If you receive a product from a PR company and you don't like it, don't be afraid to say so. Obviously there is a line between being rude and just giving an opinion but not every product suits everyone and in my opinion companies should welcome having an honest review of a product as it shows them the strengths and weaknesses. I have heard of bloggers posting reviews which the company has asked them to remove because of negative feedback which I think is crazy because a company shouldn't just be looking for positive feedback, it should be honest.
Use clear, large photos
There is nothing better than being able to look at a lovely big, clear photo! When I first started I used to set my photos to medium size but when I looked at my blog I realised that they were quite difficult to see. I've now changed them to large or extra large! Also, don't worry about what type of camera you have, I don't own an SLR or a bridge camera, I just have a little compact and as long as you get the right setting, you can still take pretty amazing photos!
Don't spam people
A lot of people (including me) hate it when someone leaves a comment on one of your blog posts saying that they love your blog but they'll follow you if you follow them. I only follow blogs that I like, what's the point of following someone just to get a follower back as you're not truly appreciating their blog for what it is. I have nothing against people leaving me a comment about my post and then leaving their link with that comment (to be honest, I check out more blogs this way) but to comment just for a follow, no thank-you!
Try not to ramble on too much
I once got told by someone that my blog was lovely but I talked too much! (I'm probably rambling a bit too much in this post too!) I tried to think about how much text I would read on a post before I lost interest and based my post sizes on that. Now I try to keep my posts to a few paragraphs and make sure that I get straight to the point. I also try to include a lot of photos in my posts as I find them much more interesting (they say a picture is worth a thousand words!)
Hopefully you find these tips useful!