BLOGGING 101


It's weird to think that I only started really blogging just under a year ago. Sure, I've had Tumblr for years, but when I say blogging, I mean properly blogging. Tumblr is great aesthetically, but when the thought of starting a written blog came across my mind, I knew that I not only wanted to make it look pretty, but I also wanted to write about things which people might actually be interested in. Now by no means am I a veteran in the world of blogging, and I'm not claiming to be, but everyone loves a good old resource pack, right? I thought that I'd collate some great resources and websites which I have found useful over my almost one year of blogging.


This post isn't just for people who are already blogging, but also for those who are contemplating blogging or just starting out. When Five Foot Seven was in the works, I had no clue where to start and having a resource pack like this would have been really helpful. I stumbled in to the blogosphere with no clue what was going on or how to even insert images properly. So if you're thinking about starting a blog, welcome! It's good fun. And if you're already running a blog, then hopefully this post can still be just as useful.


Templates and Coding:
One of the most problematic issues with being a blogger; finding that perfect look for your blog is time consuming. Very time consuming. And not knowing much about coding can also make things pretty tricky... But with practise, coding can become much easier and give you the ability to edit your blog's appearance without running the risk of messing up the foundations of your blog. The appearance of your blog is what will hold your visitors attention. You might have written a great post, but if your blog is has parts of your sidebar all over the page, then the reader isn't likely to return. As I currently host Five Foot Seven on Blogger, I can only suggest places to get templates for Blogger. But personally, I think that Blogger is a great place to start out. Here are some of the best places to get free templates which are clean and responsive, and fairly easy to use and set up:

Gooyaabi Templates                                              Designer Blogs                                               How to understand code          Customising Templates                                            My Blogger Themes                                                                             
Blogger Template Store                                           Odd Themes                                                          

Networking:
Networking with other bloggers and brands is key to success. No matter what someone says, just blogging away without sharing your content and connecting with other people will not result in success. There are the obvious ways to network with others; social media is your best friend in this world. Sharing posts on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ will result in traffic towards your blog, but be careful not to overdo it (We've all done it before..) There are some great ways to find out when your posts will get the most engagement, allowing you to optimise your traffic with your social media posts.

One particular website that I love to use for my Twitter account is Buffer. It allows me to track when my tweets get the most engagement, and lets me to queue my posts in advance so that they can be sent even if I'm not online. It actually makes quite a lot of difference to the amount of traffic that I can direct to my blog, and it's free which is even better. Other places I like to network with others are listed below:


Blog Engagement Facebook Group                                                                               Bloglovin'

Blogging Network Facebook Group                                                                               Twitter Blogging Chat Times

Working With Brands:

Having the opportunity to work with brands is something that comes with time. There are two ways of going about it, one reaping better results. The first way is the indirect approach, where you sit back and wait for the brands to contact you. Now on occasions, this can happen; a brand reaching out to an influencer isn't uncommon, particularly if that influencer has a large and engaged following. However, unless you have thousands of followers, this approach may not be best for you. Sometimes, the direct approach (although daunting) is the best way to go. Brands receive countless numbers of emails from influencers asking about collaborations and sponsorships, so they're totally used to it. There's no need to write an awkward email, just get straight to the point and show them what you have to offer. Regardless of what bloggers and youtubers say, everybody loves a freebie! Here are some of my favourite platforms that connect bloggers and influencers with brands:

The Bloggers Hangout                                                                                                   Etail PR

The Blogger Programme

Photos and Videos:

Digital media like photos and videos play a big factor in your blog. Whether you like it or not, if you have photos and videos, visitors are more likely to be engaged and return to your blog. I personally enjoy taking photos to use on Five Foot Seven and my social media, but sometimes I like to use photos which I haven't taken myself. There's always big debate as to whether this is ethical or not, but I see nothing wrong with it as long as you follow one vital rule; you give credit to the source. I usually just add a little caption to the link where I got the image from. Another way to use other people's images is by using stock photos. There are loads of places to find stock photos but some of them you have to pay for. I've found a couple of sites which provide them for free:
Free Images                                                                                                                   PicJumbo   (Personal Favourite)
Stock Free Images                                                                                                         Wonderlass (Images via email)

Other Resources:

The Nectar Collective: They offer great resources for bloggers, with tips and tricks on topics like creating media kits and other things to go along with that. Melyssa's posts are always so insightful, and I find really benefit me when I put some of her tips into practise.

The Hungry JPEG: They have great design resources, some of which are free, but the paid ones are actually at a really affordable price. For a limited time they have a free font bundle which can be viewed and downloaded here. (Expires on 02/03/16)


Website Grader: You enter your blog URL and email, and it analyses your website, telling you some of the facts and stats behind your blog. For example, you can find out your page load time, page size, SEO, page security and mobile responsiveness. Pretty helpful right?

The Blog Stylist: Bree has a whole page dedicated to resources and tools to help bloggers, with everything from Instagram Tips, to setting up a newsletter. This is pretty much your one-stop-shop for all tips and tricks.

18 comments:

  1. I love SO many of the resources you listed here, we must be long lost blog bff's :) The Nectar Collective is one of my fav resources for blogging and business, and I stalk The Hungry Jpeg to satisfy my font obsession. Have you checked out pexels.com for free commercial use images? They are gorgeous, that's my go to if I'm not using styled stock from Haute Chocolate, of course.

    Great post, gorgeous :)

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    1. Really? How mad is that! No I haven't seen pexels.com, but I'll definitely take a look :)

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  2. This is such an awesome post! I've found a lot of these resources helpful in the past and look forward to checking out some of the ones I hadn't heard about :-)

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  3. Really helpful tips here, I have to network a little more! Sometimes I am so busy in my own little bubble I forget to do it

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    1. It's easily done, getting immersed in your little space!

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  4. These are some really great resources, and I'm always looking for ways to network with other bloggers, so I appreciate the Facebook group recommendations. I just joined the one I wasn't already a member of.

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  5. A lot of helpful tips and resources here! The list of FB groups in particular were very useful.

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    1. I've honestly found the Facebook groups to be some of the best ways to boost traffic and engagement! It's something people are overlooking I think.

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  6. Website Grader is amazing! Also I joined a few Facebook Groups,thanks for sharing x
    mypastel-world.blogspot.com

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  7. Very informative! You're so right when it comes to networking, especially if you want to expand and engage with others. Personally this is my favourite part! Keep it up ☺

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  8. Lots of great info here - I had not heard of the sponsor sites that you mention. :)

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  9. Awesome post! I am working on the networking part as well. I have definitely found Facebook groups to be the best in terms of engagement. :)

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  10. I definitely need to check out some of these websites, The Nectar Collective sounds really good.

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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  11. Excellent post! I love how many resources are here. I am pinning this or future references, especially regarding the free stock photos.

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  12. Great list of resources for bloggers! Pinning!

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  13. Thanks for sharing this guide. It's always useful to brush up on the basics.

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  14. Great post! All of these tips are so true. Wish I had known them when I started blogging. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. Thanks for this helpful list! I am a very new blogger so it's great to have resources like this with heaps of tips and help! Thank you :)

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