13 April 2012

My Blogging Tips

Stock images

I get many letters from followers asking how to be a successful blogger, How to get more followers and how to get complimentary products for review.
My mandatory answer is usually just be yourself and success will follow, but I guess their is a little bit more to it than that!

Personally I didn't have a blogger hand book when I started out, nor were there as many websites, social media platforms and blogger specific PR companies. But here are a few things that helped me to build Natural Belle;

That big idea!

First and foremost don't start a blog mainly to make money or be popular, it's transparent and disingenuous start your blog because you genuinely enjoy the subject you are blogging about.

Don't try to be everything to everyone, start off by blogging on one topic, if you like fashion stick to that, if you enjoy books blog about that. don't jump from subject to subject your posts should have a common theme.

Find your niche, so you want to blog about natural hair? so do thousands of other naturals find something within that subject which makes you stand out, are you a recipe queen, a braiding maverick? you can still post your personal journey but what makes your experience different it could be your writing style or your images anything that makes you stand out from the crowd

when I started Natural Belle, I wanted to share my natural hair journey but I also found a lack of inspiration (or hairspiration) within the media, so I decided my niche would be to highlight models, singers, actresses and celebrities that have a natural hair.

Getting Started

Their are many blogging platforms you can work with, most popular are Blogger, Tumblr & Wordpress. If your like me and couldn't tell a html code from a bus schedule keep it simple, most platforms have ready made templates that you can customise simply.

When it comes to design simplicity is always good. It's hard to make colourful, patterned backgrounds work, they mostly distract from your content and can look tacky. Stick to a plain background, you can use a simple program to create a header make it bold and reflect what your blog is about (it's the first thing your readers see) 
If you are planning to blog across platforms make sure they share a common design theme.

Most blogs contain images, if your planning to photograph yourself don't think you need to fork out for a snazzy camera or constantly be followed round by a photographer boyfriend. I use my Iphone and a simple Lumix digital camera
try to make your images as clear as possible and use a simple uncluttered background.

All About Content

I'll hold my hands up and say I'm not the best writer in the world, I'm more visual so I play to that strength. If you are a great writer keep your posts as brief as possible if you can say it in less words than do so! 

Only blog about what you know, draw from personal experience and stick to the facts!

source others, if you have used an image or some text from elsewhere source back to the original content....don't get sued!

Products, Reviews and PR 

A big part of Beauty blogging is reviewing products. Many bloggers receive samples from PR companies or direct from companies, if you are not on the radar yet do not fret! review what you have and what you purchase which is what it's all about really! 

Don't be afraid to contact companies to ask for a trial sized sample, the worst they can say is no. 

When you are contacted by PR companies or brands don't feel pressured to review, you don't have to accept it if it is not something you would usually use then don't take it, they will appreciate your honesty and keep you in mind when something you'd like comes along.

Be honest when reviewing products, I personally don't review products I don't like, I'd rather send the brand/PR an email telling them what I didn't like about it.
When reviewing a product you like be truthful about what you think and add the Pro's and Cons.

Growing Your Following

Always blog like you have 20,000 followers even if you have 20!

Share the link love! promote other and they will return the favour.

Take part in more successful bloggers segments, submit articles to blogs you admire they may get posted and your style will be seem by more people.

Join more than one social media platform such as twitter or facebook. 

Interact and comment on other blogs, DO NOT just leave a url and a lame comment INTERACT! 

Be positive!

If I have missed out something please comment below and I'll try to answer any quries


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