How to get more subscribers on Youtube

How to get more subscribers on Youtube

During the past few months I've received a fir few emails from you lovely lot, asking me to do a Tip Tuesdays post on how to build a successful Youtube channel and - I'll be honest - the reason I haven't is purely because I don't actually know how to become absolutely amazing at it. I've not been doing it for years, I'm not making money from it and I'm definitely no where near any kind of Zoella / Hello October status. I am however, the proud owner of a Youtube channel that recently hit five thousand wonderful subscribers. To me, that's a heck of a lot of guys and gals - especially when you think about the fact that each one of those people cared enough to press a 'subscribe button', let alone actually watch a video of me talking about my favourite products for what seems like an eternity. I guess there's no real exact equation of how to up your sub count, but here's everything I've learned in the past year of being on the 'Tube.

Be completely yourself

I feel like there's a constant misconception in the online community that you have to be super happy and outgoing to succeed at Youtube. I mean sure, this does work for a lot of people, but that's probably because those people are actually like that in real life, not just for videos. Like everything else in life, it's best if you just remain true to who you are - whether you're super happy, a bit grumpy or just 100% socially awkward (me). I started off trying to act a certain way in front of the camera but - of course - it didn't work. As soon as I started letting my own personality shine through my subscriber count went up and more people started commenting. And damn, is it easier to obtain your actual personality rather than a fake one. That stuff is exhausting.

Interact with your existing subscribers

People take time out of their day to comment, so whenever they do be sure to return the favour! It seems like such an obvious thing to do, but it really does help. Not only does it show that you're actually a real person with interests, but it'll also bring people back to read your reply. And hey, if someone sees you talking in the comments, they'll probably be more inclined to leave a comment themselves. No one wants to talk to someone that, er, doesn't talk back!

Upload consistently

Think about it - if you know your favourite TV show is on at 7pm every Friday night, you'll probably watch it more than, say, if it was on at random times during the week. People like routines, so if they know your videos are going to appear in their subscription box every Sunday then they'll look for it (you guessed it) every Sunday.

Be smart with your titles

It's all well and good coming up with mysterious titles that sounds good, but will people be searching for it? Probably not. It's exactly the same as SEO for bloggers (give that link a click if you have no idea what I'm on about) in that you need to make your videos searchable, as well as make it obvious what they're about. That way, no one will click onto your video and get disappointed half way through. If you call it 'The Best Nude Lipsticks' then that's exactly what your viewers will expect.

Engage with other creators

This doesn't mean you should go and comment on every single video someone in your community uploads - instead it simply means that you should talk to others. Forget about the initial reason as to why you might want to comment (ie. to showcase your own channel) and just start making friends with other people. If you love their videos, tell them why! PS. The chances of having someone reply to your comment is seriously upped the earlier you get to the video!

Just ask!

Ever wondered why practically every single Youtuber asks you to subscribe, comment, or like their video? It's because it actually does work. If you invite people to chat to you, they're more likely to do just that - and same goes for all the other things us Youtubers bang on about! It might not give you millions over night, but it'll definitely encourage those watching you already!

Hoped this helped some of you! Feel free to leave any 'Tip Tuesday' requests in the comments down below. I'm forever worrying that I'll run out of ideas for this old thing!

--------------

Web design and HTML tips for bloggers

I'm one of those really cool people that finds HTML fun. And by that, I mean I had no life when I was a teenager so instead of going out partying I opted to learn how to code Myspace layouts like a pro - who knew it would ever actually come in handy for me one day!?

Anyway, I'm always getting questions from my friends about how to use HTML to do certain things on blogs and websites, so I decided to make a blog post all about it in hopes to help a few of you guys and gals reading this. If you're a HTML king, this might not be of any use to you, but if you're a bit of a n00b (no sweat, we all were once!) then hopefully this will be a bit of a gold mine if you want to start pimping out your site like a pro.
 

Create a search bar

I guess search bars are pretty self explanatory, right? A lot of platforms these days automatically plonk a search bar into your site, but if it doesn't (or if you simply don't like the look of the one they give you) you can go ahead and give this one a go. To activate it, all you need to do is copy the code below and simple change the 'your-url.com' part to - you guessed it - your own URL! You can also feel free to play around with the width and height of the search box, depending on where you want to put it. If you want to change the colour of the search box borders, just change #000000 to whatever colour takes your fancy using a Colour Picker Tool. 

How to do it [COPY AND PASTE]:

<form method="get" action="http://www.YOUR-URL.com/search.php"> 
<table cellpadding="0px" cellspacing="0px"> <tr> 
<td style="border-style:solid none solid solid;border-color:#000000;border-width:1px;"> <input type="text" name="zoom_query" style="width:200px; border:0px solid; height:17px; padding:0px 3px; position:relative;"> </td>
<td style="border-style:solid;border-color:#000000;border-width:1px;"> 
<input type="submit" value="" style="border-style: none; background: url('http://i60.tinypic.com/2ppmv6c.png') no-repeat; width: 26px; height: 19px;">
</td> </tr> </table> </form>

---------------

Add a language translator

This is something that I've only recently done, but it's something I wish I had done sooner. I don't know about you guys, but judging by my Google Analytics reports (you can see my Google Analytics for Beginners post here) a nice handful of you guys come from outside of the UK. The Google Translator is one of the best, which is why I've decided to link it here, but there are a few others on the interwebs too.

How to do it:
 

To turn your blog or website into something suitable for all languages, all you have to do is head on over to the Google Translator Website Manager, add your URL to the database, and follow the rest of the instructions! You can pick from either a physical widget (as pictured above) or a toolbar that appears whenever someone from a different country logs onto your page. I've chosen to do the latter, but they both work just as well!

---------------
 

Make an Instagram widget

I always get asked about how I make the Instagram widgets on my blog, but the truth is, I don't make em, Snapwidget does! I've been using Snapwidget for a while now, and I've never had any issue with it at all.


How to do it:
 

It's as simple as just heading over to the Snapwidget website, entering your Instagram user name and playing around with a few different settings. Then all you have to do is copy and paste the code they give you, put it onto your site and you're done! It's pretty much fool-proof, no matter how much of a newbie you are. And hey, doesn't it look nice!?

---------------

 

Make social media follow buttons

AddThis is a fairly recent discovery of mine, but I've already recommended it to so many bloggy friends. It basically (amongst other things) allows you to create social media icons suited to you, which you can place in varuious places on your website. You can add these social icons to the bottom of your posts, in a sidebar or even have them appear at the top of the page when someone clicks on your site (which is what I've decided to do). You wouldn't believe the amount of follows you get on your social sites just from having one installed!

How to do it:
 

Simply create an account/log in to AddThis, click on 'tools' (in the top bar) and select whichever tool takes your fancy. Then all you have to do is configure which social channels you'd like to use by adding your usernames and URLs. Get the code, pop it on your website and presto!

---------------
 

Put two images next to eachother

I decided to add this in purely because I get asked this the most, which sounds pretty crazy considering it looks like it would be the most simple thing to do in terms of HTML. Annoyingly enough, a lot of sites will always put images underneath eachother, unless you code them properly. Et voila. To add your own pictures using HTML, upload them onto a website like Photobucket or Tiny Pic, copy the 'Direct Link' and replace the 'Place Picture Link Here' with that code! Then all you have to do is replace the 'Place Link Here' text with the link you want your picture to point to when someone clicks it. Simples.


How to do it [COPY AND PASTE]:
 

<div class="nav3" style="height:705px;">
<a href="PLACE LINK HERE"><img src="PLACE PICTURE LINK HERE"></a>
<a href="PLACE LINK HERE"><img src="PLACE PICTURE LINK HERE"></a>
</div>

---------------
 

Turn a picture into a clickable link

Sometimes you just want to click on a picture, rather than a link. Am I right? I find this works really well for things like headers and any images you want to put into your sidebar, but it can work for just about anything. It also allows you to add ALT text as well, which will help your pictures show up more on Google!


How to do it [COPY AND PASTE]:
 

<a href="INSERT LINK HERE">
<img src="INSERT IMAGE LINK" alt="INSERT ALT TEXT HERE" width="42" height="42" border="0"> </a>

---------------

Hope this helps some of you guys! Feel free to ask any questions in the old comments below.

 

How to take better blog photos

Fashion blog photography tips
Blogging photography tips
How to take great pictures for your blog
How to take great pictures for your blog
How to take great pictures for your blog

So (I swear I start off every blog post with the word 'so' - should probs start reading the dictionary a little more for better introductions..) I've been posting a little less than I'd have liked to lately, but it's all been kind of leading up to the post. Almost. Basically for the past few weeks Ollie and I have been working at taking better photographs - and by that, I mean I've been pinning loads of stuff on Pinterest and Ollie has been trying to put up with me being an indecisive biatch with every photo he takes. Who even likes having their photo taken anyway? Can't I just make a fashion blog for my cats? Working on it.

But anyway, hopefully you'll have noticed a slight improvement in the photography on the blog lately. And if so, good! If not, well, just humour us for the minute. I say us, because today I've managed to persuade le photographer / boyfriend / father of my cat-children to get a little more involved with the production of an actual blog post. He's been taking photos of me since day one, so I think it's only fair to you guys to get some advice from him, as opposed to me. I mean, I like to think I can take a few nice snaps on the odd occasion, but I am in no way a photographer. In short, Ollie has taught me everything I know. In return, I've decided to show him the ropes with this blogging business. Oh yes, ladies and gents, the boyfriend is creating a blog. We are officially one of 'those' couples.

So about those photography tips (how have I already written about four million words?). It's midnight, Ollie's playing a zombie game on his Xbox and I'm here in a fake-tan-stained-top (you know, just to give you a quick visual run-down). Apart from this not-so-little intro, all I'll be doing today is typing away whilst he talks. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Ollie's tips for better blog photos:

Okay, so one thing to remember with photographing for blogs is that it's all pretty subjective. You're not shooting an editorial for Vogue so not all of the standard photography rules will apply sometimes. One thing that I've noticed with other bloggers is that sometimes photos can be overexposed and overly enhanced - which is a really easy and common mistake to make.

(Side note from Steph: I do this all the time..)

One thing that I've learnt whilst taking photos for Steph is that blog photography really makes you better at working with what you've got. Steph and I never go out with a planned location - she just throws on an outfit - then we head out and find whatever looks right to us. It doesn't always work out, so be open to move around to find the perfect setting and shot. One thing we've always done is we've kept a little catalogue of ideas and locations that we can use over and over again if we're struggling to find the right spot. These are places with decent light that are usually fairly quiet to take photos in. Another good idea is to dedicate some time in the day to take a bunch of outfits, just to make sure you have enough in your 'stash' for those rainy days.

One thing you have to always remember is that fashion blog photography is usually all about advertising the clothes. When Steph posts an outfit I'm sure you guys want to actually see how something looks on her, just incase you want to buy it for yourself, so it's always useful to show off what it is you're trying to advertise, whether it's a pair of shoes or makeup.

In terms of bloggers being models, it's important to come to terms with the fact that most bloggers aren't models. Steph will be the first to admit that she's awkward in front of a camera, but it's just something you have to push through to get good photographs. Steph and I have this little agreement that, whenever she's looking a bit, um, weird, I'll help her with her posing a little, since I'm the one that can actually see how she looks on the camera. For bloggers/models, I think it's useful to do a little bit of research into various poses, just so you can bust a few out when needs be. 

Shooting the pictures

So in an ideal world a DSLR camera is best for most photography, but obviously not everyone can get their hands on one. Thankfully these days there are so many good point and shoot cameras on the market that do a really good job of creating DSLR-style photos, without costing a shit load.

The best thing about DSLR cameras is that they give you complete creative control, since you can adjust pretty much anything. If your camera allows, be sure to shoot in manual so you can play around with the settings, but if you're not familiar with how to use it in manual then stick with auto until you're comfortable enough with creating your own pictures.

A lot of DSLR cameras will allow you to shoot in RAW, which basically means the image is un-compressed, giving you more room to change light levels and generally alter your image to your preference. Use RAW if you can, but if not just go with the highest file size your camera allows.

Which lenses to use

So next we'll talk about lenses. There are so many different lenses on the market but I've decided to talk about three of my favourites that are good for this style of photography. The first being an 85mm lens, which is best for portrait and beauty shots. Then we have the 35mm which is good for wide shots of landscapes and such. Next is a 50mm is a good all-rounder - I've noticed a lot of bloggers use 50mms and crop in to them to make them look similar to how an 85mm would. It's a cheaper alternative than buying an 85mm most of the time. If you want a lens that does a bit of everything, Steph and I use a 24-105mm L lens.

Camera settings

When it comes to what camera settings you should use, everyone has a different style. If you're not familiar with how to use your camera in a manual setting you can watch a video on it here. That being said apertures of around 5.6 usually work well for portrait. Low apertures such as 1.2 can create a really shallow depth of field (that blurry background that all bloggers love) but sometimes the depth of field can be so shallow that not all areas of the photo are in focus. Some people do want this look though, so it's good play around.

In terms of ISO, I'd suggest keeping this pretty low (around 100-200 if possible). This is because a higher ISO can result in a lot of noise/grain in a photo which results in a low quality looking photo. Again though, some people will desire this look.

Onto shutter speed. If you use a low shutter speed your images may not be as sharp as you might want. However too high can make the image look almost harsh. You also have to take into consideration what your subject is actually doing. For example if you're taking a photo of someone running you'll want to use a higher shutter speed to make sure they're in focus

One thing that's important to remember is to ensure you don't overexpose your image (basically making things too white).Once you've done that, it'll be near impossible to regain the information you've lost from doing it. It's a lot easier to brighten something if you have to.

Another thing Steph and I have started ensuring we do is having the style of outfit match the location. For example in Steph's outfit here she's wearing quite simple clothes, so the background reflects simplicity too. We've also decided to put a focus on her jacket, and so we've taken a few extra shots of our surroundings that matched the colour of her outfit. It just helps to break everything up a little, giving it a more editorial feel. It's also useful to take way more photos than you actually need, since it's better to have more to choose from than not enough.

Lighting and weather

Steph and I always take our photos outside, and I always like to use natural lighting purely because it's less effort (who wants to be carrying around millions of lights all day?), and it tends to give more of a natural look than a set up studio. The one downside to working with natural light however is that you have no real control over it, so it's good to time your photos perfectly.

When it's really bright and sunny it'll limit the settings you can use on your camera, and it can also create harsh shadows on your subject. If it is really bright, trying waiting until early evening so that the sun is a little lower in the sky and less harsh.

The best light for us is a fairly bright day with a bit of overcast, since it creates even light..and it means Steph doesn't squint as much in pictures. Golden Hour is something a lot of photographers look for in natural lighting. It's basically the point in the day when the sun is about to set. The light is really orange and looks awesome on camera. But again, you have to time this well otherwise it can get too dark.

One thing I will say is to try and avoid shooting in the dark, since you'll have to raise your ISO to compensate, which means you'll get that unwanted noise and grain.

Bloggers and poses

Taking photos isn't just a one-sided thing, so I should probably talk a little about the bloggers in the photos, and what they can do to help their photographer.

If there's one thing that helps how you look in photos, it's your posture. No matter how stupid you might feel you look, over-exaggerate whatever you're doing. Trust me, it never looks as dramatic and over the top in the actual photograph. Sometimes it can be useful to have a coffee cup or handbag to make it look more natural when posing. Standing in front of a camera face on with your hands on your hips is never a good look. And obviously, try and have fun while you're doing it. And ignore anyone else around you. People like look, screw em.

Editing your snaps

When it comes to how to edit your blog pictures, if you're editing in RAW a great place to start is with Adobe Lightroom, because it means you can properly balance your photo create the exact look you want. In Lightroom things to consider editing would be brightness, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. These are just the basics, but who knows, maybe Steph will rope me into to doing another blog post on that sometime.

A good thing about Lightroom is that it doesn't destroy pixels unlike most other photo editing softwares. Once balanced (and whatever else you want to do!) you can edit in Photoshop to get rid of blemishes etc. One thing I'd recommend is to make sure all of your photos look like they're from the same set. Eg. make sure they're all edited in the same style and coloured in the same way.

Uploading your pictures

And finally, when you're uploading photos onto your blog make sure you check out what is the largest file size that your site can support (whether it's Squarespace, Wordpress or whatever). This is because photographs can lose their quality when they're uploaded to the internet, so it's best to upload in the highest quality possible to make sure you lose the least amount of details.

Oh and one last thing - make sure your pictures are in focus before you head back home. 

 

Leave any questions in the comments and I'll try and get back to you ASAP! Hope this helped.

-------------

Missguided faux suede biker jacket *
Iris & Ink Valerie t-shirt *
Monki culottes *
Steve Madden sandals *
Filippo Loreti Rome Gold watch *

Photography by Ollie Lello

5 ways to get more followers on Instagram

How to get more followers on Instagram

Out of all the different social media, erm, apps (?) Instagram has to be my favourite of all. It doesn't limit me to 140 characters - which is something I struggle with on the daily #firstworldprobs - and it doesn't require me to record myself being interesting on the spot a la Snapchat (which FYI, I only use for taking double chin selfies and videos of the cats). But Instagram? Oh. Well. That little guy is my digital baby. Well, okay this blog is my digital baby, so I guess Instagram is my second digital baby that's constantly in competition with my blog. I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Okay, so we're all very aware that I love Instagram, and - just like everything else in the digital world - having followers is always good fun. Now obviously I'll put the usual disclaimer out there that followers shouldn't be the be all and end all to social media. But hey. gaining some followers here and there is a nice feeling. Unless it's the type of follower that's actually a creepy spammy porn account called sexygirlswithboobs69. That sort of follower can back off. I swear I can never write anything without being semi-awkward. Gah. I always start off so (okay, maybe remotely) well, then bam. Awkward turtle.

So here we are two paragraphs in and I'm still yet to let you all in on the mystical secrets of how to gain more followers. Well my friends, as always with all of my tips on here, it's a lot more simple that you'd probably think. And better yet is there's no spamming, no like for likes, no share for shares, nothing. Just a bit of honest grafting and lots of holding your phone/camera up really really high in the air. What am I talking about? Let's go straight to the first step..

From Where I Stand photos are the one

I'm not sure what I mean by 'the one' but I do know that - after doing my own bit of research - photos of people snapping their outfits from above (more commonly known as #FromWhereIStand pictures) get a crap ton of likes. Why? I have no clue. But if you look on all of the top fashion blogger accounts their FWIS pictures are usually some of the most liked. Now I know, I know, we don't all have perfect white floors or arms that spam around 8ft, but here's a little trick if you're trying to work out how to do it.

First, get a big piece of white card or a white sheet (or whatever colour you want!). Then whilst you're in your outfit of choice stand in the centre and stick your ass out. No, seriously. Stick your ass out like you've never stuck your ass out before. You'll look 100% doing it and you'll probably pull a muscle the first few times, but that's the price us girls pay for Instagram perfection. It helps to scatter around a few pretty items around you, like a bag or magazine, but feel free to hold something in your free hand as well. Or don't. Whatever. Either way make sure that - when you're taking the photo - your thinking about dat Instagram square. So if your taking your picture in landscape format, envisage the square. Be the square..

Post regularly, but not too regularly

I like to post at least once a day, just so the world knows that I still exist on the internet. But I know for some people posting around four times a day works for them. Personally I don't think I could manage posting that many photos each day, purely because I'm so uptight when it comes to what I post that I'd probably have a nervous breakdown on the third picture. Basically, you want to make sure that you post on a fairly regular schedule so that you followers know when to expect your snaps. Obviously it doesn't need to be to the minute (or even hour) but as long as your followers have some idea when to expect your content then you're all good in the hood. Like I said though, don't fully overwhelm your followers with twenty pictures a day, because that can get kinda spammy. If you've got millions of followers, go for it. But if you're just starting out maybe keep it on the D-L. Unless every single one of your pictures is of a cute cat or something. In that case, send them my way.

Use hashtags, but don't go overboard

This is pretty much an ongoing rule with anything to do with the internets. Rule #1 of the WWW. No spamming. But alas, hashtags are there to be used, so we may as well do just that. I tend to use the more obscure (but still popular!) hashtags to help get various posts noticed. For example, using #Fashion is great and everything, but everyone uses it, so you'll be lost in a crowd of millions. Instead, go for something used less often like #UKFashionBlog or something. I like to insert my hashtags at the end of my captions, because, well, Instagram OCD.

Communicate with each other

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The key to social media is in the name: actually be social. Be nice to one another like you would be on the street, be polite, talk to people you share interests with, get involved with the conversations and meet new people! Sure, doing follow for follows will work, but all you'll end up with is a big audience that doesn't engage with what you have to say or post. And what use is that!? It's the Instagram equivalent of poking someone on Facebook. Kinda.

Do your best

This goes for pretty much everything and anything you should do in life, because hey, why half ass something!? For me, I like to make sure my images are the best quality possible, so whenever I'm at home I use my camera to snap the pics and upload them through Dropbox. Then again, you're talking to the girl that has biscuit crumbs in her phone camera. Note for all: Biscuit crumbs do not look great as an overlay to all phone pictures. Let it be known. As we all do with the interwebs, try to be the best version of yourself. Be positive, be inspiring and - most importantly - be nice. Your images might not be the best, but if you communicate well with other people in your network you'll gain followers in no time. But seriously, try to make sure you don't get biscuit crumbs in your camera. Why can I never end a blog post successfully?

Do you have any other tips?

-----------------

ASOS lace up flats *
Carpena Elda plaid bag *

50 blog post ideas for when you're feeling uninspired

50 blog post ideas fashion and beauty

About a month ago I came up with 100 blog post ideas for when you're suffering from bloggers block. And it turns out that you guys blooooody loved it! So - as you can probably tell by the title - I've decided to go at it again with fifty more ideas for ya! My brain is well and truly fried this time around, so hopefully these will keep you and your blog ticking over nicely for the time being! Either way, please enjoy the above image of me psychotically grinning at the camera after eating three double cheeseburger meals in under ten minutes. I have no regrets.

1. Create a makeup starter kit
2. Share your Uni/College tips
3. Interview a reader
4. Create a vlog!
5. Host a live chat on your blog
6. Showcase a small business
7. Show off your gym attire
8. Respond to another blogger's post
9. Write a 'time capsule' post to yourself
10. Share a personal fact
11. Style the same top for an entire week
12. Share your money saving tips
13. Showcase your work space
14. Talk about your favourite movies
15. Recreate a runway look
16. Share your favourite juice recipes
17. Do a house or bedroom tour
18. Create a downloadable wallpaper
19. Share inspirational quotes
20. Create an online shop and promote it
21. Promote coupons and freebies
22. Post your workout routine
23. Post your outfit pic outtakes
24. Your favourite Youtube channels
25. Make a product/brand directory
26. Simply talk about your day!
27. Spill your fashion blunders
28. Do a budget shopping spree
29. Show your hair history
30. Post what you wear to work
31. Look through someone else's makeup bag
32. Film a 'Get Ready With Me'
33. Share your career journey
34. Review a gig you've been to
35. Blog about your pet!
36. Share your travel tips
37. Blog about your local street style
38. Show off your shoe collection
39. Write about breaking news
40. Create an inspiration mood board
41. Talk about your favourite perfumes
42. Post about what makes you happy
43. Review your own blog
44. Talk about your pet peeves
45. What you eat in a week
46. Review a local restaurant 
47. Share a Q&A post
48. Do the 30 day squat challenge
49. Post a roundup of your favourite blog posts
50. Talk about why you started your blog

Can you think of anything else!?

-------------

W Street linen dress *