9 steps to becoming a more successful blogger

Oh internet, it's been a crazy few weeks, but I'm finally back with a truck load of blogging tips and tricks up my sleeve. Think of me as one of those old ladies that always seem to have a Kleenex or seven stuffed up their blouses. Only what I've got is a lot more useful. Unless you've got a cold, because if that's the case you should probably head on over to granny Kleenex. Wow I'm so out of the loop with these introductions. Let's just get straight to the tips, shall we?

 

Socialise with people in your network

This isn't about the numbers (although it certainly doesn't hurt) it's about forming like-minded friendships. Sure, blogging might not be the hardest thing in the world, but every thing in life has its downsides, so it's good to have someone to talk to. Same goes for the good stuff. When you reach a certain milestone of followers, or even when you just get a really nice blog comment, sometimes only fellow bloggers really understand how good that feels. Plus, these friends won't judge you if you take half an hour to take a picture of your food - hell, they might even snap your outfits if you're lucky!
 

Plan ahead and stay organised

The past month I've been swamped with other life commitments, and it made me fail at blogging. So. Damn. Hard. I mean, I posted three time last month. Three times! Give me all the virtual slap on the wrists you desire. But anyway, that wouldn't have happened if I managed to stay on top of my work over the holiday season because - when you stay on top of things - it gives you a chance to step away guilt-free without sacrificing your work since, you know, you've already done it. Sounds like someone should write a book about that sorta thing. Oh wait, I did. #GirlsGottaEat.
 

Know you and your blog's worth

I see this all the time on forums and Facebook groups, and that is people accepting big ass jobs for next to nothing. Now I know blogging isn't about the money what so ever, but when someone wants you to work for them - whether that's in a 9-5 job or an internet one - you need to make sure the money (or even the product) is worth your time. If something sounds too low to you, it probably is too low. Don't feel like you have to accept every job you get just because it's an offer - sometimes brands will respect you more if you say no. And sometimes - just sometimes - they might even come back with a higher offer. If you're going to be a successful blogger, brand yourself that way!
 

Be yourself, and be okay with that

Fake it til you make it? Sure, that night work for some things in life, but honey, 2016 is all about getting yourself out there. And by yourself, I mean your actual self, not the person you pretend to be on the internet because - let's face it - that person can only take you so far. If you're awkward, roll with it. If you're a selfie queen, own it. And if you're a big fat Minecraft geek with a handbag full of Haribo and an iPhone full of Candy Crush then hell, we should hang out.
 

Stay on top of your emails

This is almost a reminder for myself, since I'm so damn terrible at it. But! One thing I do know is that - on that magical Sunday afternoon that I manage to get on top of everything - it feels pretty great knowing I can start my inbox from afresh. Check that spam box, check that junk mail and make sure you never miss an important message (AKA an ASOS sale) ever again. 
 

Work with each other, not against

There such a stigma that comes with blogging, in that us bloggers all hate each other. When I first joined the community I thought I was going to be the odd one out, but oh how I was wrong. Blogging is still such a niche that us gals and guys have to stick together, not work against each other. 
 

Keep pushing yourself

Even when times get shitty it's important to always, always keep on truckin'. I think I've used that saying about five hundred times this year and - to be honest - sometimes I've felt like throwing in the towel (I'll divulge a little more into that soon) but if you want something in life you've just gotta keep on going. Think about it, when do you see brand new bloggers taking over the blogosphere? You don't - and that's because these girls (and guys) have been tapping a way for a while now. Give it time my friends, and keep on truckin'. There goes the five hundredth and one(th) time I've said that.
 

Stop comparing yourself to others

Some people are always going to appear better than you - that's just how the world works. We're insecure weirdos and nothing will ever change that. But you know what? Sometimes you're going to be that person that someone else looks up to. Either way, comparing yourself to someone else won't ever work in your favour. Let them do them, and let you do you. We're all unique in our own way, so be the best version of you that you can be. I swear there's some sort of inspirational quote here that I'm missing.

 

Give your readers what they want

If you want to give your blog that little step up in success, be sure to give your readers what they want. Now you might be thinking, bitch, I'm no mind reader, but you don't have to be! Just take a scroll through your comments to find out which blog posts are your most popular, and play around with that! You can even check out your Google Analytics to see which of your posts are performing the best. Give em what they want, and they'll keep on coming back for more. Check out my post on how to use Google Analytics to your advantage for a tip or two.
 

What are your current blogging goals? Leave them in the comments below!


18 blogging mistakes to avoid

Blogging mistakes to avoid

Blogging (successfully) is one of those things that sounds pretty simple when you say ut out loud, but when it comes down to actually doing it - and doing it well - there are a lot of things to take into consideration. I'm hardly any form of internet authority or mother-figure here (although feel free to start calling me Mumma Steph) so I'm not going to tell you exactly what you can or can't do with your blog, but if you wanna make it that little bit more special, try steering clear of these blogging mistakes. Or you're grounded without pocket money. Or food. I'd be a terrible parent..


1. Blogging illegally

If there's one thing you take from this post, it's that blogging illegally is a bad, bad thing - just like most other illegal things. The general topic of what you can and can't do with your blog is a long, laborious one, but luckily for you guys I've typed it all out in one of my last tip tuesdays, so if you want to know how to blog without breaking the law, head on over.


2. Not crediting your sources

This kind of falls in line with the laws of the internet, but copyright is a seriously big deal for us bloggers. Contrary to popular belief, just because an image is available on Google it doesn't actually mean it's yours for the taking, so if you are using someone's snaps on your blog (even if it's just an inspiration post) you really should be crediting them. The best thing to do is ask for someone's permission, but if not be sure to pop in a link to their site, just to cover your back.


3. Not using your own images

Think about it, how often does your favourite blog use stock images? Never, is probably the answer you're looking for here. So, if you can, try taking your own photos to illustrate your next blog post. You don't need a fancy camera or the latest update of Adobe Photoshop - all you need is your iPhone, a good eye and a few apps for editing! Plus, you won't have to worry about following any laws if your images are your own!


4. Not declaring sponsored posts

Again, it's a lil bit illegal if you don't declare any paid or sponsored posts, but despite all those boring laws it's actually a really good idea to admit to ads, even if it's just to maintain a bit of trust between you and your readers. The second you start trying to trick your audience into thinking that you absolutely, 100% were not paid for a positive review on toilet paper*, the second you start losing them.

*Unless it really is great toilet paper..


5. Blogging for the wrong reasons

If the only reason you choose to blog is to:

- Get rich
- Get famous
- Get free stuff
- All of the above

You probably shouldn't be doing it. Blogging is something you should start for you, not for material possessions. Sure, I may be earning a few pennies here and there, but I never started my blog with the intention of it paying my bills. So if you're going to start a blog (or if you have one already!) make sure you're doing it because you enjoy it. It could be a long, long time before you start getting anything from it, so for all those months you're doing it for free, you may a swell actually like it.


6. Accepting everything you get offered

Again, free toilet paper? It's useful, but do you really want it? Unless your blog is focussed on loo roll (if so, huzzah! You've found your niche!), maybe not. I tend to operate in a way that I only accept things I want to try or I'd go out and buy myself. That way you can maintain your own personal style and you'll never feel pushed into writing about something you don't like. You'll be surprised at how many brands actually respect you saying no!


7. Putting too much focus on SEO

Search Engine Optimisation is important, but you shouldn't let it dictate everything you do with your blog. If you end up making every single thing on your blog all about keywords and searchable phrases you'll end up with quite possible the most boring and robotic sounding blog. Sure you might rank high on Google, but that;s pretty useless if your audience aren't fully engaged in what you have to say.


8. Not putting any focus on SEO

Despite everything said above, it is a good idea to divulge in at least a little bit of SEO every once in a while, just to keep your blog ticking over nicely. For those not in the know, SEO basically consists of various ways you can get your site higher on a search engine. Higher on Google = more chances of people clicking on your site. Head on over to my post about SEO tips for bloggers to find our more!


9. Not linking to old posts

Do you see a theme here? The Sherlock Holmes of you will have noticed that I've linked back to a few of my old posts in this article. Why? Because it helps keep my older content fresh, and clicked on! Not all of you will go and scroll through every single post I've ever written (sob), but some of them are still very relevant (or at least, I like to think so), so whenever I can I try to link back to relevant posts to keep them, well, relevant!


10. Not linking out to others

Think about it, having other people link out to your blog feels great, doesn't it? Not only is it flattering, but it can also help your SEO as well as drive more readers your way. So when you can, try linking back to a few of your own favourite bloggers to help them out a little.


11. Bad mouthing others

It's simple. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all! It's not so bad if you're talk about celebrities or people in the public eye (although it's still not overly nice!), but no matter what you should never back chat another blogger or content creator. It can cause drama, awkward situations and - generally - it's just not the nicest thing to read. There's enough negativity in the world - leave it out!


12. Not showing your personality

There are SO many bloggers in our community now that you simply have to show off your personality if you want to stand out. Think about how many MAC lipstick reviews you've seen on blogs. Why do you read them? It's probably not for the description about the colour, but more about how someone wears the lipstick or talks about it! Everyone's unique in some way or another, so make sure you use your own personality to your advantage.


13. Being inconsistent

Being inconsistent doesn't mean you have to post at the exact same time, on the exact same days, but having some sort of 'home base' for your readers means they know when to come back if they want to read something new from you. Take Tip Tuesdays for example! If there's one post I make sure I stick to every week, it's this. 


14. Not engaging with your readers

Blogging is a two way thing - you can't just talk at people without any thought about the people reading your site. If someone takes time to comment, comment back! If someone asks you a question, try and answer it (maybe in a future blog post!?). It just helps you build a relationship with your audience, as opposed to just typing away for the sake of it.


15. Not being reachable

I come across so many blogs that don't have a contact section, and it stresses me out knowing that they might be missing out on some seriously awesome opportunities, or even conversations! Brands will take one look at your site and if they can't find a way to contact you within a few seconds they'll switch straight off. Same goes for setting your Twitter and Instagram to public!


16. Neglecting social media

You can have the most kick ass blog in the world, but if you;re not sharing it then no one will be able to find it (unless you're an SEO queen, perhaps). Sharing something can take literally two seconds, and it can bring a bunch of new readers your way in an instant. I (try) to do it at every opportunity I get. But please, don't spam your links every five seconds!


17. Having a slow website

Think about it, if a website takes thirty seconds to load, are you going to wait that whole thirty seconds? I don't know about you guys, but I'd have clicked off by that time. When making a site it;s important to make sure you don't have too many 'things' running on your site to slow it down. This can be anything from millions of videos to millions of widgets. You can check your speed just by Googling 'website speed test'. You're welcome.


18. Not having a mobile-optimised website

I'm always reading blogs on the go, and nothing annoys me more than when I go on a site to find out that it's not supported on mobile. Sure, you can usually read things on your internet browser on your phone, but it never normally works quite like it should (and it can take a lifetime to load). A lot of sites like Squarespace and Wordpress ensure that your blog is mobile optimised from the get go, but you can check if yours is by searching for 'mobile friendly test' on good old Google.

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Aaaand now my fingers have officially gone to sleep. Hope this Tip Tuesdays post helped you guys! As always please feel free to shove your question in the comments down below, and I'll work on getting a post up about it ASAP!

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8 blogging tips you need to ignore

Blogging advice you need to ignore

Well, this is awkward. So here I am, with a Tip Tuesdays post and what am I talking about? Tips you need to ignore. I feel like this blog post is some sort of Tip Tuesdays inception. Tipception maybe? No? Oh alright then.

So as I'm sure you've seen all over the internet, us bloggers like to make advice posts - and I'll be straight up with you. Why do I do it? Well, first and foremost I do it because I like to help people, and - chances are - if I want to know how to do something, someone else out there wants to too. Secondly? Well, Tip Tuesdays are some of my most popular blog posts. You guys like em, so I keep doing em. I keep doing em that is, until the ideas run dry. Because, hey, do we really need another blog post with a click-bait title just so I can get a few more views? I think we all know the answer to that one.

So anyway, that's why this post is a little later than usual - because I literally couldn't think of anything I'd want to advise you lot on. Then it dawned on me to maybe advise you guys about what advice you shouldn't listen to (because we all know there's enough of that on the interwebs..#guilty).

As always, different things work for different people, and sometimes it's good to just find your own way, buuuut people are lazy, I'm lazy, you're probably a bit lazy too (no judgement) so if there's an article out there that will tell us how to do something, chances are we'll read it. Just like you're reading this now. God, you're all so lazy! Says the girl who's stayed in her PJs all day. Again, no judgement. Let's get straight onto those top tips for ignoring tips..shall we?

Blog every day

Sure, blogging more often will up the chances of increasing your traffic, but only if you maintain a certain level of quality. I don't know about you guys, but I'd much rather wait a few days for an amazing post than be inundated with a bunch of articles that only exist to gain a few more views. Just remember that it's quality over quantity no matter what. If you're not happy with it, don't post it!

Be controversial

Okay so maybe this worked for me that time I wrote about the downsides to going to London Fashion Week, but that was just a bit of luck. If you start writing controversial posts just for the sake of it your readers will soon catch on, and it'll start getting boring for them, and fast. Of course opinion pieces are a great way of making your blog more personal, but maybe keep those controversial opinions for topics you feel really strongly about, not just because you want to shock people.

Write for everybody

There is no such thing as pleasing every body, so when it comes to choosing who you write for, choose whatever feels natural. Does my blog appeal to middle-aged business men? Probably not. So I don't even try to write for that sort of audience. The truth is is that it's near impossible to take over the blogging world like Chiara Ferragni or Kristina Bazan, so instead try to hone in on what it is that you know..and rock at it.

Comment on other blogs (a lot)

A few years ago this worked wonders for bloggers out there. I mean, it's simple. Comment on big blogs and their readers will find yours, right? Well, kind of, but not to the extent you're probably after. Of course you might get a few hits on your blog if you do comment away, but it's really not worth the time and effort. You're better off spending your time doing something more worthwhile, like creating kick-ass content. Or napping.

Keep blog posts short

Some people like short blog posts, some people like long blog posts. Hell, some people even like posts without any writing at all. What I'm trying to get at here is that there is no exact formula for which blog posts are the most successful. You could write 100 meaningful words or 5,000 words that don't even make sense. It all comes back to the importance of quality blogging - it's what you say that matters, no matter how long or short.

You don't need good SEO

Okay so maybe you don't need good SEO, but it'll seriously help you and your blog if you do implement it as soon as possible. Some blogs do amazingly well without a keyword in sight, but oh, just think about how much better you could do if you just improved your blog's SEO even a little bit. Not sure how? Prepare yourself for a shameless plug. Here are five tips SEO tips that will increase your blog's traffic.

Blog for you, not your readers

Hopefully you started (or will start!) a blog for the pure enjoyment of doing it, not just to get free things and more followers on Instagram. However if you do want to grow your audience it's vital to actually listen to what it is that your readers have to say. Of course you shouldn't write a blog post you have no interest in, but if your readers are looking for something in particular (and if you have the urge to write about it!) make sure you do. They'll appreciate it!

Giveaways will boost your following

This works on a short-term basis, but it's definitely not something that will genuinely boost your following in the long-run. If you ask for your readers to follow you as an entry requirement, sure, you'll get more followers, but it doesn't mean they'll hang around. The trick is to use a giveaway as a reward for your existing readers, not something you should use to persuade others to follow you. Make them want to follow your blog, free things or not.

Are there any other tips you think I've missed out?

 

Things every blogger needs to know about Google Analytics

Google Analytics was always the bane of my existence. In reality, it still probably is one of my least favourite things in life (not dramatic at all there, Steph), but, with all that being said it's something that us internet people have to use sometimes. Annoyingly enough though, it's not exactly the easiest thing to use, so, in classic Tip Tuesday form I've decided to try (emphasis on the word try) and make a little beginners guide on how to get sh*t done on the old GA. But first, let's go through a few of the basics.
 

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a free service run by (you guessed it) Google that allows you to track the amount of people that click onto your blog or website. It tells you pretty much anything including what they like, where they're from, and how long they stay on your site. The only thing it doesn't tell you is who their favourite character on Game of Thrones is. But hey, give it time.
 

Why should you use it?

GA sounds so damn boring. You know it, I know it, we all know it, but you should probably be using it either way. Why? Because, even if you're not interested in all of this, Google Analytics allows you to see what gets more traffic and maybe what doesn't do so well. If you're looking to grow your following in any shape or form, or even just keep your readers coming to your site then it's good to check out every once in a while. That way you don't have to go and spend time posting things that your readers may not enjoy! That being said, do not get too sucked into the drug that is GA. Sometimes posts just go viral, sometimes posts suck. The main thing is that you enjoy what it is you're doing, regardless of the numbers!
 

Which days are most popular on your blog?

Knowing which days are the most popular can be useful for so many reasons, but mostly because it can help you figure out which day you should post on to reap the full benefits. You can look at this manually by selecting the a start date and an end date, or you can just be completely lazy and click this link to find out when your most popular day to blog is. Just make sure you're signed in with Google Analytics before hand! It doesn't show you the actual days instantly, but in short, 0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, and so on. Try posting on different days to help figure out which is your most popular - you might be surprised!
 

What is the most popular time to blog?

Not only is it good to know the best day to post, but it's also good to know the best time. Generally speaking, everyone seems to say the best times to post are early in the morning (just before people are heading off to work or school) or late afternoon (when everyone is finishing work or school). I'm a bit of a weird one, and my most popular time to post is at around 1pm for some unknown reason. I found this out by doing the exact same thing as above, only with time instead of days. Again, you can just click this link to find out your most popular time to post on your blog. Thank me later.
 

Where do your audience go?

Hey you! Yeah, you! I know where you're going after you read this. And by that, I mean I know where you're going to end up on my site (or if you leave it). I won't actually know if you instantly click onto some porn site or something straight after. Although I'm not sure why you'd get that urge after reading this post...anyway!

If I see people landing on my homepage and leaving almost instantly I'm going to know something isn't quite right. Maybe my homepage doesn't entice people enough to click on anything? Who knows. If I see people going from my homepage to this blog post, then onto my post about need-to-know blogging terminology, then onto another tip tuesdays post then I'll know I'm doing something right, because it means someone is staying on my site and exploring because they're finding it interesting in some shape or form. If you want to increase the amount of time people stay on your site, be sure to include internal links on your blog (basically links that link to other posts you've written) or widgets that will direct readers to some of your newer or more popular posts.

(Go to: Behavior > Behavior Flow)
 

Where do your readers even come from?

I think one of the main things I get excited about with GA is finding out where everyone comes from, and how they actually come across my blog at all. Now, we live in a world that's now pretty much built on social media, so it's no surprise to anyone that that's how a lot of people will find your site. But the best thing about Google Analytics is that it tells you exactly which social account sends traffic your way. Almost half of my traffic comes from social media, most of which is from Facebook, so this shows me that Facebook sharing is definitely something I need to keep doing to help grow my readership. Despite having a similar following on Twitter, the number of people I get coming from there are nothing in comparison. So this gives me two options. I can either try to focus more on Twitter to build my influence on there, or I can put less emphasis on it and focus on other social channels. I've found the best way to grow your audience is to simply focus on the most popular social accounts. They're doing well for a reason!

(Go to: Acquisition > Overview)
 

How much time do they spend on your site?

Yup, if Google Analytics can track where you go, you can bet it'll tell me how long you've been on my blog too! This is good for showing you which readers get bored and perhaps why. I mean, you're not gonna read this blog post in ten seconds, so if I see you clicking on here and clicking off in an instant, I'll know you maybe got bored or just weren't interested. Generally speaking around thirty seconds tells you that you're maybe boring your readers a bit (sorry!) and around the four or five minute mark is when you'll know you're doing something right. Sure, five minutes sounds like nothing, but bare in mind just how short your own attention span is. Five minutes is a lifetime in GA terms.

(Go to: Behavior > Overview > Avg. Time on Page)
 

Who even are your readers?

Sure, you might think your UK beauty blog has a predominantly British female readership, but please, check out your GA demographics, because it can actually be kind of funny. I recently found out that I have a nice handful of guys (not literally, might I add) that come to my blog on the regular, which I never expected what so ever. It's things like that that help you re-evaluate your blog's content and angle, and can even help you decide whether or not you want to implement some form of language translator on your site. If you want to get more of a certain 'type' of reader, be sure to cater for their needs (which you can find out on GA too!).

(Go to Audience > Demographics > Overview)
 

Wait, what even is 'bounce rate'?

Your bounce rate is basically the percentage of people who only view one page of your blog. For years I had a bounce rate of about 70%, which isn't great, but after creating my own site and adding a bunch of interesting content for you guys to click on, my bounce rate has made it's way down to about 6%, which means that around 94% of you will look at at least two pages of my blog. This is usually a good thing, but it can also mean that your blog might be difficult to navigate. Have your readers share their thoughts on your blog if you're confused about the two!

(Go to: Audience > Overview > Bounce Rate)
 

And hey..about those trackbacks..?

Trackbacks are simple. They pop up when someone else has mentioned you on their website, or when you've written a guest post on someone else's site that links back to your own. Being able to see trackbacks are useful because it shows you just how much traffic you received from that website. If you want to get even more traffic, look back in your lil trackback list and perhaps consider writing for some of those sites again, or at least say thank you to the people that mentioned you! You never know, they might do it again.

(Go to: Acquisition > Social > Trackbacks)
 

So there we have it, another blog post that's going to take you about 400 years to read. Hope it helped some of you!

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10 things every good blog needs to have

Things every blog should have

I like to think I'm a bit of a checklist queen, if I do say so myself. I make lists about the lists I want to make, and sometimes I re-write lists just for the fun of it. For the past few days I've ben suffering (and I don't say that word lightly) with some sort of Norovirus. So what do I do? I write lists. So far I've written a list about all of the blog posts I'm going to write, a list on today's things to do and - most importantly - I've written a shopping list of various foods that I can eat. Bread. Dry biscuits. Paracetamol. I'd like to see you fancy food bloggers make something delicious out of those ingredients. Wish I was joking. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that I'm the sort of person that never really rests, and that I'm always looking for something to improve on. A few days ago there was a little bit of radio silence on the blog and that my friends was all down to me trying to be all market-ty in hopes to find the perfect algorithm to making the perfect blog. Spoiler alert: there is no such thing as a perfect blog. But. I did notice that all of the 'best' blogs had a few things in common. Consider these your first steps to becoming the best blogger in the world..

Easy to use comments section

If you haven't already guessed by now, I love talking (or, typing, whatever you wanna call it!) so when I read a blog post that I love I always try to leave a comment, just because I know how much they mean to me when you guys do it. But when I leave a comment I don't want to have to fill out my email address twenty times, along with my first and last name, my website URL and about fifty different security question/captcha tests (I can't be the only person that sucks at those?). Now I understand a few things have to be filled in for security reasons sometimes, but if it takes me long to submit a comment than it did for me to actually leave a comment, something's gotta give.

A fast loading website

Now I don't know about you guys, but I have a pretty short attention span, so when it comes to waiting around for hours just to have one web page load, I'm not having it. Five seconds of waiting and I'm pretty much done. Maybe seven or eight on a good day.  But long story short, no one likes to wait for things. Us bloggers aren't giving out the most important, life changing information, so why would anyone want to spend more time than they have to on our sites? If they wanna look around after they've finished reading, that's cool. But sometimes I just want to see your latest OOTD and skim through the text about your day and - let's face it - I don't wanna have to close every window on my laptop just so it can deal with slow website speeds. If you find your site is struggling a bit try putting less on each page, and have less moving slideshows or whatever. They look good, but not if they don't work.

Beautiful images

Even if I have something super important to say in a post, I'll never upload it without making sure I have something decent for you guys to look at. I mean, hopefully by now (if you've been here for a while!) you like me for me and what I have to say, and not just because of a few overly photoshopped photos (if not, no judgement), but even still I like to make sure there's at least something for you guys to look at, even if it has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Take the above photo for example. Thigh high boots have 0 correlation with blogging tips, but I know some people just like to have a sneak peak at what I'm wearing sometimes. So, outfit stalkers, the photo is for you. The text? Well, it might be useful, but it's not something you're going to be putting on your Pinterest any time soon, is it?

A snappy about page

Aaaand just like that I realise I don't have one of my own. Oops. But either way, you should have one and so should I. These 'about me' pages won't make a difference in your stats, nor will they have any other real purpose in life. They are however, a good place to actually tell people who you are. Hello! Look at me! I'm a real person and not just a thing that lives in cyberspace (no seriously, I am actually a real human!!1). It's nice to know - or at least get an idea - of the person(s) behind the blog you're reading. Just a few sentences will do. Talk about your likes, dislikes, hopes, dreams and whether or not you like avocados. I don't.

A mobile friendly website

So this is actually a must in the blogging world now. If your website doesn't work on a mobile phone or tablet then you can be penalised, and your Domain Authority score can go way down. Despite all of this, it's really handy to have a working mobile-friendly website regardless, since we're all stuck to our phones these days. Just like before, it should be quick, easy to navigate and nice looking.

A niche and a purpose

A niche doesn't mean you have to be the only person doing what you're doing, but it does mean you need to stand out from the crowd in some shape or form. For example, for ages I was just posting outfits with nothing interesting to say about them. That's fine if people just want to look at what I'm wearing, but I usually want more from a website than just a few links to where I can buy a pair of shoes. I imagine you guys feel the same way, right!? So instead of being 'just another fashion blogger' (ew who wants them?) or 'just another beauty blogger' try doing something different. Add in some lifestyle, fitness, a weekly theme..blah blah blah. Just make sure you do something a little different to your competitors. Maybe I'll make a fashion blog for my cats.

A stylish, easy to use website

Graphic design has always been something I've been interested in, so maybe, maybe, I go a little overboard with worrying about how everything looks. But despite all that, looks isn't everything. In my opinion you should make sure your website is easy to use before you do anything, then, when it is working as it should be you can go in and do any fancy tweaks to make it looks swish and hipster. Or you know, just make it look nice.

A search bar (that works)

There have been so many times that I've wanted to search for a specific post on someones blog, but haven't been able to find it without trawling through all their posts. Again, as mentioned above, my lack of attention span usually gets the best of me and I click off after a few pages of not finding it, but if these people had a working search bar I may have stuck around for a little longer. A lot of sites like Wordpress and Blogger have a little widget that does it all for you, but if not you can always find a simple code online to make your own!

A privacy/disclosure page

If you look back at my latest post that talks about various laws your blog needs to follow you'll see that a privacy page is pretty vital for your readers - just so they know that you're not going to go and sell their email addresses onto a third party. A disclosure page is kind of the same, as it informs your readers of when your posts are sponsored/paid for or when you're wearing or using something that has been gifted to. It's just there to make sure you're being completely honest with your followers. You know when companies try to sell mascaras, then you see in the tiny writing at the bottom saying 'false lashes used on the mode'? It's like that, but blogger edition.

An easy, obvious way to contact you

PR companies are awesome, but they're not always super professional detectives, meaning that - if you don't have your email address on your page - they're not always going to be able to contact you. I have three (?) ways of contacting me on my blog, not including my social media widgets, and that's just so people are able to find my contact details without trawling the entire internet for hours on end. The easier you are to get a hold of, the more likely people will contact you. This does include spam emails though, so be sure to get a good spam filter!

 

Do you think I've missed anything out?

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Missguided lace up thigh high boots *