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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Does blogging advice actually work?

Hey beauties!

The admirable blogger Brian Clark (not one I'm a particular fan of, but moving on!) once said: “Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” There are numerous ways to create a 'great blog for your readers', and here is a collection of life-hacks to help you do so!
Which is why, today I’ testing this technique designed to really improve your blog posts and technique, titled ‘The perfect blog post’, which is a pin I grabbed of Pinterest! It basically shows you how to organise and display your blog posts, and I hope it works! Do let me know in the comments if you really like this format for my posts. Today I’ve decided to post about advice for other bloggers out there, because I guess it’s relevant for the test on this pin (see right) that I’m currently doing! Let me know in the comments if you’re a blogger, just leave me the link to your blog so that I can check it out.

I promise you you’re about to read some amazing advice. Are you ready?

We all suffer from ‘writer’s block’. It’s stressful, and always leaves us thinking ‘I give up. I just won’t blog’. Obviously, this is our natural instinct. We can’t think of an idea; we don’t blog. Now, you must remember with blogging: don’t blog because you ‘have to’, blog because you have an amazing idea fizzing in your brain. I absolutely love that feeling when you’re about to sit down to blog, and in your head you have words scrolling through your mind, until they all spark through your brain, veins to the tips of your fingers, then passed through your fingertips, usually making you press the keys on your keyboard way too hard!

You won’t look back on blogging ever again after reading this simple method to blogging perfection!

1.      Don't drag on to much in the intro. No reader wants to read a long, tiresome intro. Chances are this will loose their attention, and they might not make it through the whole post. Keep your sentences short and clear; it shouldn't take more than a few sentences to get across a simple thought (don't go and count how many sentences I just used- I know you will!).

2.      Write your outro (the ending paragraph to your blog) before your main blog. When you begin to write a blog, you enthusiasm peaks at the beginning. Therefore, usually by the time of the outro you're bored and just want to upload the post, so it ends up being something along the lines of: Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed! The outro should preferably have a whole new point to it (but a brief one to explain), or conclude your post. Read the one at the end of this post for an example! Another option is to refer to your intro, to make your post cyclic and to tie it together. It's a great idea to end a post with a joke or happy thought, to leave your reader uplifted and content! I'm trying to work on my outros, and if you view my last couple of posts you can see the difference between my earlier posts to now!

3.      Open up, be relaxed and calm when you write your blog. When in a hasty mood, it will come out as hasty to your readers, like outros often do! Trust me, your readers are better at detecting flaws than you are! Mike Butcher said: "Blogging is a conversation, not a code.”

4.      Don't write a blog because you 'feel you should'. No post is better than a rubbish one! Remember, the latest post is the first one to be seen by new viewers- so make it a good one! Dance instructor Abby Lee Miller often says: 'You're only as good as your last performance'.

5.      Use pictures! This is something I've been carefully working on lately. I used to struggle to use pictures effectively in my blogs, but now I'm working on it! It's really useful for entertaining your reader, and skin-scan readers will stay entertained. Listing also has a similar effect; it works especially well when you highlight or put in bold the first sentence in each point.

6.      Avoid using links too much! The odd link is perfect for a blog (like my previous ones on Summer Fashion). However, when links end up replacing visual content, stick to images! Although a post you've written with lots of links might seem fun for you, the readers will have no idea what you're talking about without an image. You really need to tie them in, and use images to keep them reading! If you see my Lush Pamper Evening Post (or something like that!) It's obvious I was thrilled to write that post- try reading it. Is it really enjoyable? I think you get my point, moving on! (Another free-bee thrown in there- move on from your point once it's explained. If the reader doesn't get it- they don't. It's like explaining a joke, which never makes the joke seem funny- just more confusing!)

7.      Put yourself in the readers' shoes. Change your scenery. Sit down maybe 20 minutes after writing the post, read it on your site (not as an author!). Look. Would you be gripped? Would you read more posts on this blog? Would you be inspired to leave a shout-out to them on your latest post? Would it stick in your mind? Can you read the whole post through with-out being bored, even though you wrote it? If you can, there's no chance the reader will be bored! Etc... Your blog is for the reader- keep that in mind! You wouldn't be blogging, if it weren't for the readers, you may as well just keep a diary!

8.      Include your reader! Excite them! Scare them! Worry them! Support them! Mention them personally! If you were reading a blog, and then your link popped up with a description about how much you loved it, wouldn't you be chuffed? Make your reader understand what a big part they play in your blog! And I don't mean a big cheesy speech about how much they mean to you, I mean the link to their site, a personal message to your best friend about how amazing they are, a happy birthday to your viewer... You could even reach as far as serious topics (but you MUST write the post well- there's pressure to touch on serious topics and take them very seriously!), and anonymously but to someone specific, touch them. Make sure it won't make them tear up negatively, but that you're cheering them up. Something like: If you're out there, best friend, I look up to you for fashion inspiration. You're beautiful! (I used fashion as a low-key example!

Do you like the layout of this blog? Don’t forget to comment below to share the link of your blog with me!
Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xxx