I’ve been blogging for four years now (I think) and although I have a steady following, I know that being motivated to write posts or continuing the blog when things just don’t seem to be growing can be hard. It’s so so important to remember that you don’t write a blog for people to follow you, you should write and manage a blog as it’s something you enjoy to do, as well as wanting to share it with the world.
My blogging friend Elle (@elleclarke_ on Instagram) asked me for some tips a few months ago, which honestly flattered me. I don’t see myself to be a major blogger of any kind, I don’t really make any money off it and I don’t feel like I have a ‘big following’, so it was very flattering to be asked. I thought that the questions she asked me might help any of you out there that are either thinking about starting to blog, want to know how to stay motivated or simple have an interest in knowing about blogging.
I hope you enjoy this post and if there’s anything you feel I haven’t covered, or want to know, make sure you leave a comment below!
What’s the best way to improve incoming traffic on my blog and Instagram?
I think that the best way to find traffic for your blog is to go out of your way to find it. This may sound really weird and not very mind-blowing, but I’ve personally found it’s the best way.
I have about fifteen different tags that I follow through WordPress and everyday (if possible), I’ll go into them tags and like posts within it that fit a similar interest to mine. If one really strikes me, then I’ll comment too. I find that by doing this, people will come and check out who’s liked their post and in turn, you’ll get more views – this is also my top trick for getting followers, so I guess I’m answering your below question too.
I also try, when I remember, to schedule my blog posts to Twitter each day. This will be a mix of old and new posts and by making them relevant to current affairs – people will click and come visit your site. For example, I have some posts about gift set brushes/makeup etc – I’ll keep tweeting these out over gifting periods like Christmas, to get more views.
For Instagram, I’m not the best at finding traffic coming in – I think the engagement on there is really hit and miss. Personally, I’ll try and ensure that when I’m posting a picture I’m tagging as many relevant things as possible and try and make sure that they’re the kind of tags that people will go out of their way to search for.
What’s the best way to get followers on my blog and Instagram?
So as before, in terms of my blog, the best way for me to get followers is taking the time to read people’s posts, like them and even comment. The more traffic you bring to your blog – the more followers you’ll get.
For Instagram, I did go through a stage of wanting to get more and more followers and trust me, it was hard work! I’d go through beauty bloggers followers lists and add as many people as I could at a time. Many people on Instagram will check out who’s just started following them and if they like what they see – will follow back. It’s a very long process, but if I dedicated a whole day to it – I actually gained almost 200 followers each day and no, I wouldn’t then unfollow them.
The only downside to this, is that by following lots of people – your feeds don’t allow you to see everyone’s posts. Personally, I have a personal Instagram account where I only follow the people I talk to in real life – this allows me to use my beauty blog Instagram as more of a business tool and I don’t need to worry about what’s on my feed so much.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve done the whole – follow you and hopefully you’ll follow me – thing for quite a while now and I do go through my following list to remove people who aren’t within the right ‘niche’ I guess – this is also a good way to get rid of inactive followers and spam accounts.
I find now that if I’m posting photos that are quality over quantity, they’ll in turn get you more followers. So make sure you only post images that you’re really proud of (If you’re after a great editing tool, Lightroom is definitely the one!)
How to keep motivated to write for your blog?
I think motivation comes from organising your time well. I love blogging, of course I do, otherwise why would I have been doing it for four years now? But it’s something that you do need to take a break from time to time.
I find it hard sometimes to have a good work, life and blog balance – although recently, I’m getting much better at it.
First off, I’d definitely say to not push yourself. As with your Instagram feed, blogs are all about quality and not quantity. When I first started I posted every single day – yes, I know, how mad is that?! Eventually, I ran out of things to talk about and then it went down to three times a week. Now, as I have a very mismatched schedule in my full time job – I find that two blog posts a week is manageable for me. If I have a day off dedicated to blogging, I can often get three posts written, pictures taken for and schedules – which is one week and a half’s worth.
I find that having a notebook where I write down my ideas, what I want to achieve that week and also write down what I’ve got done, makes things much more organised and run smoothly. This will be completely dependent on what kind of person you are, but it’s definitely the list maker in me that enjoys this kind of planning.
What do you use for backgrounds for your images any tips for photos?
I didn’t used to use anything for my backgrounds, I’d literally whack it on my duvet cover, carpet or even a rug – which by the way, is actually a pretty good backdrop. Now I go into shops like B&M, The Works or just a hardware store like B&Q. I’ll get swatches of wallpaper, scrapbook paper and glitter card etc. They work so well as backgrounds and although they may be a few quid to buy – in the long run it’s totally worth it.
Before you post your blogs, do you use a lot of tags?
Oh hell yeah!I have a list of about 50 tags that I use on every single post, even if they’re not related. At the end of the day my blog mainly revolves around beauty – and I’ll still use makeup and beauty tags when blogging about travel – as I want my regular viewers to still be interested in them kind of posts and take a look.
I’d say tag brands, seasons, the type of makeup you’re doing, techniques and also colours. If you’re looking for inspiration the tags for my posts are at the top when you click on them – so just read through to see what I mean.
How did your blog do so well?
This one I don’t really have an answer for – because I have no frickin’ idea.
I think if you’re talking about something you’re really passionate about and doing it in your own words, no templates for what you want to write about etc, it all just comes naturally. I hope that people not only come to my blog to see the pictures I’ve taken, but also because they like the way I write. I’d like to think my personality comes through and people like the blog for not just the makeup but me as well.
Be yourself and it will all come to you.
Any advice on how I can improve and grow?
Honestly, I’m just going to reiterate everything I’ve just said and I know it will all come to you.
So to summarise, I guess I’ll just bullet point;
- Be prominent on your blog and instagram – be engaging to others and they’ll be engaging with you
- Organise and schedule your blog to suit you – don’t push yourself, remember it’s all about quality and not quantity
- Don’t look ‘brown-nosey’ – without this sounding a bit arsey, don’t go on and on and on about how much you love a certain company or product because you’re hoping to get on their PR list, just be honest about if you love it or not. If you’re going HAM on the review, people will get the sense it’s not completely your true opinion
- Finally, just be you. People don’t read blogs for reviews or makeup looks – there’s so many out there that they really could just go anywhere or read the reviews on the websites. They come to your blog because they like the way your write, so make sure your personality shines through