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    Losing Your Blogging Groove + Tips To Get It Back

    Lost your blogging groove? Here are some tips from bloggers on how to get it back!

    Recently I participated in a #fblchat that was focused around losing your “blogging mojo”. Losing the motivation to write seems to be a very common problem among bloggers at some point in their blogging journey, and I came across some great tips being shared during the chat and wanted to round some of them up into a post with the hopes that it may be helpful to anyone that is currently in a blogging slump.

    • “Remember why you started. That will help you regain any blogging mojo! Never give up!” – @lauramariescott
    • “Comparison kills your passion, motivation, and productivity. Just focus on your own hustle and it will work out!” – @Joelle_o
    • “If you are feeling uninspired, why not revive an old post idea with new information/ideas or a new creative angle!” -@tbc_blog
    • “If having a break works for you, do it. If focusing on another platform works for you, do it. Your blog. Your rules.” – @owlsandstags
    • “Always try and explore other niches when lacking in motivation, never just stick to one.. you might find a passion for another.” – @_AnaCristina_

    Sometimes life just gets in the way so don’t feel bad if your blog has to go on the back burner for a while. Taking a break can give you a fresh perspective and help you remember why you loved blogging in the first place. Breaks not your thing? Try taking 15 minutes and having a brainstorming session. Write down any ideas (see 25 post ideas here) that come to mind: products you’re loving, fashion trends your following, a new restaurant you tried out and run with it. Taking a few minutes to force yourself to sit down may be just what you need to break that blogging block. Always on the go? Write your ideas down in a notes app on your phone!

    Inspiration comes and goes, so try and revisit the places that give you those creative ideas. Sit down and go through your Bloglovin’ follow list and catch up on your blog reading. Found a post you like? Why not use it as inspiration and put your own personal spin on it and make it your own? Reading my favourite blogs really helps to get my enthusiasm for blogging going. Love Pinterest? Scrolling through the thousands of images and boards may just give you that spark that you need for your best blog post yet.

    • Comparison is something that can truly de-motivate you and hinder your creativity. Be confident in your blogging abilities! – @tbc_blog
    • “I often go back to drafts I started before and finish them when I’m stuck for content” – @OhButDarling_
    • “I take a break quite often and come back full of inspiration! I think it’s healthy!!” – @Blonde_Vision
    • “I think sometimes everyone just needs to remember we’re only human & can only do so much. You also only live once!” – @Clairey_tweetie
    • “..have time out to seek new inspiration to then put into posts, meanwhile changing things up helps you experiment + not get bored or run out of ideas so they both work, albeit in diff ways” – @YasminStefaniee

    Still stuck for content ideas? Try reaching out to your readers. They will be able to give you great insight into what they are looking forward to seeing from you next. You can also talk to your blogging pals who might give you that push that you need to sit down and crack on with writing. Try and figure out what is keeping you from enjoying blogging. Are you no longer happy with the theme of your blog? Maybe it’s time to refocus and go in a different direction. Getting down about readership or pageviews? Why not join a blogging community or research SEO tips and tricks!

    What are your tips for getting out of a blogging slump?

     

    Catch up with me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Bloglovin

     

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    Blogging

    Tips For The New Instagram Algorithm

    Tips For The New Instagram Algorithm Change

    I have been a huge fan of Instagram for quite a few years and have loved sharing snaps of my day to day life for the world to see. I also use it to connect with others in the blogging community, see what new products they are loving, get makeup inspiration, share my blog posts and even use it as a tool to catch up with friends. Instagram made it really easy for me to see what’s new in that moment just by simply scrolling down my feed, but that is all about to change. Instagram is switching to an algorithm based feed soon which means that they are now changing up how you will see content on their app.

    Instagram will now be presenting you the photos and videos that they think you will most likely want to see first instead of the familiar scrolling through the newest to oldest posts that we all are used to. On their blog post they stated that “people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds” (see their full post here) which is quite a lot of content to be sure, so they created this algorithm based system as a way to make sure that you don’t miss out on the posts that could be the most important to you based on how you engage with the people or brands you follow. Simply, this means you will have to like and comment more on the things you are interested in order for the algorithm to know what posts you enjoy and are most important to you.

    Without going into my feelings about the new change, I’m sure you’re now thinking as a blogger or creative “What do I need to be doing?”. I’ve compiled a few tips that will help you below!


     

    Create visually appealing content that your audience wants to see

    Make sure that the content that you are sharing is relevant to your followers and is appealing to the eye. Your images should be clear, well lit and not over-filtered. I like to use natural lighting with my photos and try and reduce the amount of shadows by using a light reflector. This makes sure that the shot is lit nicely from every angle and keeps it from looking too dark or harsh. Take a look at your recent photos and see which ones had the most interaction. These are the types of images that your followers are interested in and are likely to engage on, so that is a good starting point to focus your efforts.

    Make your photos searchable with hashtags

    So you’ve snapped a gorgeous pic and now it’s time to get that photo out there and hashtags are one of the easiest ways to get your images in front of a niche audience. Whether you are posting your makeup of the day or a snap of a new lipstick you purchased and are loving, incorporating hashtags such as #makeup or the brand that you are using helps others find your images. When a user is scrolling through the #makeup hashtag, it means they are specifically looking for makeup related content, therefore you’ve gotten your photo in front of the right audience.

    Encourage community engagement

    Now that you’re photo is being seen by your current and potential followers, encouraging engagement on your photos is key. Create a call to action by asking them a question, or creating a topic-focused discussion. Increased engagement on your images means that your content will be displayed at the top of your followers feed first, and that’s what we want! Having an involved social following is the key to success with the new Instagram algorithm. Don’t forget to like, leave comments and support pages that you are interested in as well, we are all in this together.

    Post consistently

    Consistency is key they say, and it couldn’t be truer. Uploading fresh, relevant content regularly is how you will ‘earn’ your engagement from your following. For example, if your viewers know that they can expect a photo from you every day (think blog/youtube scheduling) they will come back and see what’s new and leave you a like or comment. This will also keep them more interested, invested and up to date with your brand or business. That being said, make sure that you aren’t under or overposting by testing the waters. Try posting at different times during the day, or try sharing more or fewer photos in a day to see what your audience prefers.


    So those are a few tips on how to ‘survive’ the new Instagram algorithm change. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but change is inevitable as we all know. Don’t be too worried as it’s going to take time for Instagram to completely roll out their plans, but I really hope that these few pointers helped you!

    What are your thoughts on Instagram’s changes?

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    Blogging

    Blogging Communities & Why They Are Important

    Why it's important to be a part of blogging communities and how they can help you grow your online presence.

    About a week ago I was on my blog’s Facebook page and came across a group that was all about engaging with other bloggers and promoting your blog. I had heard of blogging Facebook groups before and how others have had success with them but I had never joined one until last week. Why it took me so long I’m not really sure, but I figured why not give it a try, see if it works and report back to you guys?

    So what is a blogging community anyway?

    A blogging community is a group where bloggers get together to connect and share content with each other. Not only can you share your blog posts, but you are also able to share your social media channels as well. Typically these communities are closed Facebook groups where you must be approved before you are able to gain access. Some require you to message an admin of the group with your blog link while others don’t, so it really depends on the group.

    There is one that I have really been enjoying in particular, the Blog Engagement/Promotion Group, due to it’s very organized approach. Every group is different and you’ll find some that may have just a few members while other may have thousands. The group I mentioned above accepts all different type of blogs from beauty, lifestyle, travel, tech and mommy blogs just as a few examples. However, you can do a quick Facebook search if you’re looking for a group that is specific to your blogs niche.

    What can they do for me and my blog?

    Joining these groups can help you connect with like-minded bloggers and is great for networking. Making friendships with others not only benefits you on a personal level, but it can also help your blog as well. It can give you the potential to collaborate with other blogs, open up guest post opportunities among many other things.

    These groups are also a place where you can share your content. You work hard on your blog getting your theme just right, researching topics and writing up your posts all while having to take and edit your killer photographs to go along with your post. We want our hard work to be seen and appreciated by others and these groups allow you to get your content in front of other creatives.

    This being said it’s important that when you join a group you engage with others, visit their blogs or social accounts and share their content. Each group has a set of rules that you should look over and follow. Admins may have set days of the week where you are able to share your blog or certain social accounts, like the group I mentioned above, so you will need to read carefully before posting. They also may have requirements that you must meet when posting as to keep link spamming to a minimum.

    Being a part of a community is a really great feeling because you are engaging with people who have similar interests to yourself, and who better to understand the hard work that goes into creating that super detailed post than other bloggers? These groups are just another form of social media, and sharing relevant content from others in the group onto your social channels will not only help the blogger but also help your followers and readers as well because you are providing them with content that will benefit them.

    Blogging communities to check out:

    Blog Engagement & Promotion Group – This group is all about gaining engagement on your blog and social media accounts and is a place to network with other bloggers.

    Grow Your Blog – Similar to the previous group, it allows you to post your blog content and social media accounts. It is an all or nothing group, so it is required that if you leave a link you must complete all other links in the thread.

    Insta-Fabulous – Since we’re talking about growing an online presence in general, I thought I would share this group that focuses specifically on growing your engagement on Instagram.

    FBL: Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle – I’m sure most of you instantly recognize this name if you frequent Twitter chats on the regular. It is the official group for the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle chat (#FBLchat) and too helps you gain engagement online.


    I really hope that you found this post helpful and have a little bit more insight on what blogging communities are and how they can grow your blog and online presence. During the past week that I have been a part of these blogging communities I have seen an increase in my following across all channels and really wanted to share this information with you guys. If you found it helpful I’d love if you’d share it to help spread the word about these amazing groups as they are so incredibly helpful to fellow bloggers!

    Are you part of a blogging community?
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    Blogging

    25 Post Ideas For The Beauty Blogger

    25 Beauty Blog Post Ideas

    Writer’s block is something that any writer will likely face at some point in their life. Coming up with fresh, interesting and engaging content for your blog can be difficult and sometimes a daunting task. I know I’ve had times where I felt as if I had written about it all. I wanted to share some beauty post ideas in the hopes that it might help you if you’ve got a case of writers block, or just simply don’t know what to write about next.

    1. A review of a product you’re currently loving
    2. Make a post all about a brand and their products
    3. Favourite skin care items you need in your life
    4. Show us your nail polish collection
    5. ..and maybe even your makeup collection
    6. Show us nosey girls what’s in your bag
    7. Top 5’s – blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks
    8. What’s currently on your wishlist
    9. Favourite seasonal beauty products
    10. Makeup look or tutorial
    11. Your top beauty hacks
    12. Tell us your favourite base products
    13. How you style your hair
    14. Show us what products you recently picked up in a haul post
    15. Share your beauty resolutions
    16. Your makeup of the day
    17. Monthly favourites
    18. Morning skin care routine
    19. Double duty makeup products
    20. Favourite makeup brushes
    21. Night-time skin care routine
    22. Show us how you rock a red lip
    23. Share how you store your makeup
    24. Minimal makeup routine
    25. Tell us how you edit your Instagram photos
    What are your favourite type of posts to read?

     

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    Blogging Tips: 5 Helpful WordPress Plugins

    5 Helpful WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

    I made the decision to move to WordPress last year and though it came with a learning curve I found it to be well worth it. Since my switch from Blogger, I have come across some great WordPress plugins that have made blogging just that little bit easier. I wanted to share some of them with you and hope that you find them as useful as I do!

    Disqus Comment System

    This one I am sure most of you know about (and use) since it has become a very popular plugin. Disqus replaces the standard comment box that comes with WordPress and makes the comment section much more interactive and visibly appealing. Disqus comes with a comment rating system and a moderating panel where you can whitelist, blacklist and approve or deny comments. It’s great at preventing spam, is very customizable and I much prefer this over any other commenting plugin I have tried in the past.

    WordPress SEO by Yoast

    Yoast is a fantastic plugin that helps improve your blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO can be a complicated thing, but Yoast makes it easy. You are able to set your focus keyword, SEO title, and meta description and many other advanced and social options right in your editor. Yoast can also give you a page analysis and score so you can see how well your post is optimized. This plugin is truly invaluable I can’t recommend it enough.

    Tweetily

    This is a plugin that I discovered recently and have found it to be a very useful tool. As bloggers, we write endless amounts of content for the world to see and as we keep publishing new posts, our older ones can tend to get lost or forgotten. Tweetily is a plugin that will publish your WordPress posts to your Twitter account automatically and help bring more traffic to your site. It’s also customizable so you can tailor your tweets to what works best for you like what to tweet, when to tweet and you can even include hashtags. Pretty cool, right?

    Super Cache

    When people come to our site we want them to be able to move around it’s pages easily, right? When a website or blog takes too long to load, people can get impatient and click away. Caching your site will help improve the performance by creating static pages instead of loading scripts dynamically every time a person loads a page. Lesser load time for your viewer means the longer they will stay and roam around your site.

    Related Posts

    Speaking about plugins to keep viewers staying on your site longer, Related Posts is a great tool for that as well. You can set up your related posts manually by choosing which articles to share on that specific post, or automatically where the plugin will determine relevant posts itself. This will encourage your reader to stay longer by showing what other amazing content you offer on your site!

    Do you have any great WordPress plugins that you use on your site?

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    Blogging

    Blogging Tips: Buying Your Own Domain Name

    How To Buy A Domain Name For Your Blog

    I know when I first started blogging my blogspot name was something I just came up with on a whim. At the time I thought the name was a good idea but later down the line found the one that I had chosen didn’t really represent me or what my blog was about anymore and I longed to change it. Your blog is an extension of you, grows with you and needs to represent you. Today I am going to share with you how simple it is to purchase a domain name for your blog!

    Choosing your domain name.

    Your domain name should be something that you think long and hard about. Now while it can be anything, I personally find it’s best when a URL is short and easy to spell. It’s also great if it gives the reader an idea of what your blog is about, although that can be hard. I suggest coming up with a list of names and I will share why with you in the next step.

    Purchasing your domain name.

    Now that you’ve chosen your fancy new blog URL it’s time to buy it. The internet has been around for a long time and that means buying a URL can be tough. A lot of website names have been taken and having something that is unique is crucial. There are plenty of websites that you can purchase domain names from, but my personal favourite is GoDaddy. Head over to the site, input the domain name you want to buy and click search. Purchasing the .com in my opinion is very important as it is the most common domain extension and is most recognizable to users. Is it available? Great, you can head on to the next step!

    Do I need to buy site hosting?

    A lot of websites give you the option of buying web hosting. If you already have a blog, with Blogger for example, then buying web hosting isn’t necessary as Blogger provides you hosting. If you are going to give WordPress a try then WordPress Site/Blog hosting is something that you will need to buy. The Starter package price for blogs is quite affordable but keep in mind that you will need to renew your hosting, as well as your blog domain, so it is a annual expense. If you chose to go with WordPress then GoDaddy will set up WordPress on your site for you which is very helpful if you don’t know how to do it yourself.

    Is private registration necessary?

    When you purchase your domain name your personal information such as your name, mailing address, email and phone number you provided is available to the public through WHOIS (Google to find out more). If you do not want your information to be public you can buy private registration through GoDaddy. This is not something I have ever seen anyone mention so I wanted to add this in. You can decide if this is something you think you need.

    Checking out.

    Not that you’ve added your domain name to your cart (with optional additions such as hosting and private registration) you can go through with the checkout process. After you have completed that your URL is now yours and you can connect it to your Blogger/Wordpress site. If you guys would like a step-by-step guide on this I can gladly write that up for you in a future Blogging Tips post!

    If you found this post helpful please let me know in the comments below!

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