How to make a high street wardrobe look high end

How to make a high street wardrobe look more expensive

I am not a millionaire, not even close. I've bought designer bags in the past, and I've spent weeks eating beans on toast and/or e-baying half of my wardrobe in an attempt to make up for the whopping dent it made in my bank account. I love fashion - both high street and designer - but I don't think I'll ever be one of those people that can justify (let alone afford) a wardrobe full of Wang. These days, the majority of my money gets spent on council tax and cat litter, so when it comes to getting glammed up I'm always on the look out for pieces that look high end, but have a high street price tag. I live for the moment that I can tell

people my new shoes aren't in fact Marni, but from my local supermarket instead. I love it. I love seeing their faces change from somewhat impressed, to sheer confusion, (sometimes judgment) to absolute amazement. Having grown older, I've moved past the pressures of wearing the latest labels, and instead I focus more on - quite simply - whether or not I like the look of something. Of course quality control comes into account, but when you hunt enough it's 100% possible to compile an entire wardrobe that has longevity, a low price point and loads of style. Scroll down for some of my top tips!

How to make your clothes look more expensive
How to make your wardrobe look more high end


foCUS ON FABRICS

Generally speaking, super cheap jersey neither lasts, nor looks good. If your're scrimping on style, opt for more trustworthy fabrics like denim and wool.
 

LOOK AFTER YOUR CLOTHES

Cheaper clothes tend to wear out quicker, so it's important to look after them. Dry clean, lint roll and hang up pieces to ensure they're pristine for longer.
 

AIN'T RIGHT? DON'T BUY IT

Cheap price tags are tempting, but if it's not exactly what you want, don't buy it. Sure, it's cheap, but what's the point if you never end up wearing it?
 

BUILD ON THE BASICS

I'm much more inclined to spend more money on a basic that I intend to wear every day. My advice? Save up for wardrobe staples, skimp on trend pieces.

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How to be a more productive blogger

how-to-be-a-productive-blogger
How to be more productive with your blog

Being told I need to relax more is pretty much a daily occurrence. I'll be honest with you, if there's one particular thing I pride myself on (apart from my ability to nap just about anywhere) it's that I'm pretty darn productive. In other words, I get shit done.

I won't lie, being a workaholic definitely has it's flaws (and that's something I'll be going into in a future, more personal post) but today I want to share the upsides of getting things done, and all the tips and tricks I use to do approximately 4,0758.6 per day. Give or take.

So for those of you that don't already know, I blog full time as a job, which is pretty awesome (you can find out how I became a full-time blogger here). On top of that I'm also a full time journalism student, which again, is good. On top of all that I'm also a freelance writer, multi-media content creator, Youtuber and a generic human being with basic hygiene needs etc etc. I'm not blowing my own trumpet here, because I'm actually bloody exhausted, but like I said, if there's one thing I'm good at it's getting a lot of things done in one day.

Last week however was a completely different story, and I pretty much sat around for days looking at my computer screen doing absolutely nothing. So in order to stop that from ever happening again I decided to make a little list in my diary featuring ways to get my mojo back. They worked, and I'm finally back on top of everything again, so I've decided to share a few of my not-so-secret secrets. Brace yourselves, it involves minimum sleep and a lot of coffee.

Make a list the night before

I make lists for pretty much everything I do, but every night I like to make sure I jot down all of the stuff that needs to get done the following day - even if it's something as simple as 'do the dishes'. Not only does this help me sleep better without having 500 things on my mind, but it also means that I don't have to mock up a new to do list the following day. Am I the only person in the world that puts 'make a to do list' on their to do list? Maybe.

Develop a routine

This is probably one of the most important ways I stay productive. As you all know, every Tuesday I do a Tip Tuesday style post, which helps give me a guide to stick to every week. I also post my Youtube videos on specific days each week, which gives me another routine I can rely on. As well as all of this, I tend to do a lot of my 'admin' work on Sunday afternoons. I'm not completely organised just yet, but I am getting there.

Plan in advance

Basically, I could pretty much tell you every blog post I'm uploading for the next month or two. This isn't always possible depending on what it is you actually blog about (for example, travel etc), but for me I find I work so much better knowing that I've got the next however many blogging days covered. It can be a little easier said than done sometimes, but I find that having a bunch of my posts already scheduled really takes a load off. It does mean you need to be seriously on the ball with blogging for a few days though. But once you're ahead it feels so darn good.

Be (fairly) realistic

I'm really, really bad at this. But I do try. Basically, if you're looking to get a month's worth of Uni work done in one day - amongst a slew of other things - think again. Even now I still find myself over-filling my to do lists, but I no longer bully myself if I don't get everything done. That being said, don't get lazy with your lists. If you're looking to push you productivity a little more it might even be beneficial to you to be ever so slightly unrealistic. Just, you know, don't expect to build Rome in a day.

Work in bulk

Since I have so many different things to do each week I usually try to designate a different day to various tasks. This is a little more difficult when I have loads of deadlines, but even so I still like to get lots of things done in one go. In fact, when it comes to me filming Youtube videos I normally do them in bulk throughout the day, depending on what I'm doing. A few weeks ago I made a makeup tutorial video, a lookbook video and two skincare videos in a few hours. It saves me time in the long run and gives me back-up content to use over the next few weeks, just incase I get ill or busy or something!

Take a break

I don't know anyone that can work well for hours on end, so taking a break every so often is a must, even if you don't think you have the time. I always used to feel like I was too busy to take some time out of what I was doing, but when I finally got into the hang of it I started utilising my time a lot more. I tend to work for an hour then give myself a quick ten minute break. If I don't, I just end up getting lost in the weirder corners of the internet. Don't go there.

Prioritise

I mean this in two different ways. First of all, instead of just doing the easiest thing on your list first, do the most important. It sounds so easy but hey, who really wants to start their day with a 4000 essay? Not me. But hey, it's gotta be done. The next way to prioritise things is perhaps a little controversial, but I will be doing another post on my experiences with it. Basically, I like my blog a lot more than I like University. I earn money from blogging, I pay for University. Since I have to pay for my rent I prioritise blog work over University any day. That isn't to say I don't get my work done on time, and to the best of my ability, but my attendance there really isn't great. It would be impossible for me to do everything perfectly, 24/7, so I have to let something slide on the odd occasion. It's not for everyone (and I'm sure my parents are rolling their eyes as they read this) but hey, it's what works for me.

Start now

FYI, tomorrow never comes! It's like when people say they're going to go on a diet tomorrow. Why not just start now? If you want to do something (or you know, have to do something) but feel like putting it off, don't! If you have the time to do it just do it. I'm not saying cancel all of your life plans just to write a blog post, but if you want to do something you may as well start now. 

Create a personal space

To some of you that watch my Youtube videos, you'll know I had an on-going issue in my old office with my crazy neighbour (long story short, she has loud sex, a lot. It's gross). Since then we've moved my office/desk area into our bedroom, and have turned that room into what is essentially a walk in wardrobe (#bloggergoals). My little corner of the room is so much quieter than it was before, and I now find myself getting more done than ever before. It also helps if you tell people in your house that you're going off to do some work so that they'll let you work in peace. Basically, just tell everyone to leave you alone or else.

Don't multi-task

Don't ask me the scientific stuff here, but I've read on countless different smarty pants websites that our brains weren't built for multi-tasking (yes, even us girls). So these days I try to focus on just one task instead of five - unless of course it's the sort of multi-tasking that involves doing the dishes and catching up on my favourite Netflix shows. Doing this means I can put 100% of my effort into whatever it is I'm doing, as opposed to half-assing a selection of tasks.

Get healthy

Gah, isn't healthy talk just so BORINGGGG?! But alas, generally being healthier will make you work a lot more efficiently. When I was going to the gym and drinking more than a teaspoon of water a day I had so much more energy and my brain woz a lot more gd at finking. It'll seem like such a chore at first if you're a bit of a non-fitness-fanatic, but once you realise how much more you get done when you do feel good, you'll wanna do it more.

Let me know your favourite ways to stay productive!

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Lily Lulu Odessa Cut out Midi Dress *
3.1 Phillip Lim clutch bag *
Steve Madden SANJOSE boots *

I tripled my blog traffic in 2 weeks (without selling my body)

How to triple blog traffic more followers

Blogging isn't all about numbers - let's just get that little nugget out of the way. But no one can deny the joy that comes with visitor growth going up, up, and up. It's like crack, but you know, the good, non-illegal sort of crack. Uhh. Don't do drugs kids. Drugs are bad. 

So for the past few weeks I've been doing things a little differently on the old blog, and in that time I've seen my traffic (along with my unique visitors) triple. Once, it even quadrupled for a few days. Okay, I'm showing off a little here, but hey, I'm pretty excited about it!

I think transparency with bloggers is seriously importantly - especially with so many blogs now working with different companies and brands. By now, I hope you all recognise me as a pretty open person. If you can see my granny pants through a pair of white trousers, I'll be the first to point it out, so when I'm sitting here bragging about all the new people I've got rocking up to my blog, you should know that I'm going to spill all my secrets to you guys. Let's face it, it's pretty damn annoying when people don't give you the full picture. Agreed? Agreed. So here it is, the full pictures (or at least as much of a full picture as I can give you without publishing a novel the size of War and Peace).

So about my stats. I used to get around 250 Unique Visitors each day, meaning 250 lovely individuals strolled on over to my blog on the daily (ps. thank you). Now? I'm getting anywhere from 650 to 1100 a day. Now unless there's some unknown naked picture of me foliating around Google, bringing all of these people to this blog to laugh and mock at me, I'd say it's down to all the things I've been doing differently lately. Normally I'd ramble about every point in twenty different paragraphs, but chances are you came here because the title caught your eye, so I'll get straight to it.

Choose an eye catching title

If in fact the reason you came here was because of the title of this post, then yay (!) - it works! Keywords are important when it comes to choosing your title, because more often than not they're the things people will be searching/looking for when browsing on the internet. The words 'tripled' 'blog' and 'traffic' are three beautiful words that are probably going to intrigue anyone, whether their traffic consists of 10 Unique Visitors a day, or 10,000. People always want more.

Be informative and have a purpose

Not only do people want more, but they also want information. This isn't to say you should make 'how to' posts every second of the day (although, go ahead if you're up to the challenge!) but I have noticed that actually having a point to a blog post really helps. Sure, some people can get away with just talking about their day in a post, but I find visitors stick around longer when there's something in it for them. Whether that's blogging advice, beauty hacks or when a sale is on - it's all down to you. One thing I do like to do however, is make as much of my content 'evergreen' which basically means it's always useful no matter what the season/year/situation. Kinda like this post, really.

Post as much as possible (within reason)

Chances are, the more you post, the more people will be inclined to stop by your site - you know, just incase you've published something new that day! I'd like to post every day, but right now University is telling me otherwise, so instead I just post as often as I can. This isn't to say you should just post a picture of your cat every four minutes to generate traffic (you know, unless that's what you're audience are after..I'm game) - ideally you should still be posting quality content, only more often.

Traffic comes from humans, talk to them

It's easy to forget that these numbers that happen on Google Analytics are actually real life, breathing, walking, people. Unless they're those spammy robot things..ignore them. Whenever people comment I always try to message back as often as possible. It can be difficult to stay on top of comments as and when they come, so I like to try and put aside twenty minutes a few nights a week to reply to different people. If they took the time to comment, comment back! Not everyone will do it, but if you reply to someone chances are they'll click back to see what you said. Hello, one extra page view - but most importantly, hello brand new actually living internet friend!

Share the love (and your blog posts)

This is probably the main thing that's helped me during the past few weeks - and some of you may well have noticed. Normally, when I posted something online I'd simply tweet about it once and maybe promote it on Facebook if I felt productive. Now? It's a whole new ball game. Obviously no one wants links shoved in their face 24/7, but at the end of the day who doesn't love a bit of self promotion? I like to promote my 'evergreen' posts on rotation. I find they tend to be the posts that get the most views, and since they never really go out of style it doesn't really matter if I promote it three weeks from now! Stumbleupon is also good for lazy promotion.

Divulge in a spot of SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is like your least favourite grandparent that you dread to see...but they give you chocolate when you do see them. Basically, when you put the effort into SEO you're bound to reap some sort of benefit. I've been doing this a lot more lately and it's boring as hell, but seriously helpful. I'll be doing a more in-depth post on SEO soon enough (I even went to the library to STUDY SEO????) so stayed tuned for that bad boy!

Hope this helped! Share any of your tips in the comments, because it's nice to be nice ;)

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UK Fashion Blog


The A to Z guide to blogging terminology you need to know

SEO blogging tips UK blogger
SEO blogging tips UK fashion blog
SEO blogging tips UK fashion blog

You know what? I like this style of post - it makes a change from just talking about my outfit and stuff. I'd love to have a fancy story to tell you about my day, but hey, who needs a twelve paragraph-long blog post on how many episodes of Breaking Bad I re-watched on Netflix today? I mean I could do that, if you really wanted, but right now I feel like I have something ever so slightly more useful to discuss: blogger terminology. Not just acronyms for Thank God It's Friday (TGIF, FYI) but more technical things like Domain Authority and SEO. Exciting stuff, right!? Trust me, it all becomes a little addictive once you get into it.

Affiliate marketing: This is one of the ways bloggers can make a little bit of money on their site, by using a special link that directs to a shop of sorts. If someone clicks it, or buys something using that link (in a period of time) that blogger can earn a commission!

Alt text: This is generally something that helps Google understand your image better, and can be applied to an image via HTML (see below) using the coding <img alt="...">. In short, the purpose of this tag is to describe the image so that Google can read it, and categorise it should your image not show up properly. I also like to name my files when saving, to help my good friend Googs (we're on nickname terms now) that little bit more.

Anchor text: These are the words use when creating a link. For example if I cheekily link you to my last outfit post, the anchor text here is the word 'outfit'. The best anchor text to use in terms of SEO (see below) are words that relate to the page you're linking to. So you know, try not to link to your favourite pair of shoes using the words 'these r r8 gd'..it's probably not going to work out amazingly.

Blogroll: This is usually where people link to their friend's blogs or their favourite blogs. You can see my blogroll here for an example. It's just a nice way to share the love!

Bounce rate: This is the percentage of people came to your blog and only viewed one page. It's not the most important thing in the world, but generally, the lower the better.

Captcha: AKA those really annoying numbers/letters that you get asked to copy when trying to write a comment or entering different details onto a website. It's a way of the internet making sure we're human. FYI, I am.

Conversion rate: This is the percentage of visitors who actually do something on your page, such as signing up for a newsletter or downloading an app.

CSS: For me, CSS is like the uglier, nastier sister of HTML. I hate it. But, it is useful to get to grips with. CSS is an acronym for Cascading Style Sheets, which is just a fancy way of describing the look and format of a document - AKA a website. It's my least favourite thing.

Domain Authority: Also known as DA, this is essentially the new Page Rank, which Google no longer takes into account. Domain Authority is based on age, popularity and size of the domain name/URL. The higher the number, the better. You can check your Domain Authority here.

Favicon: See that little star in the web address bar? That's my favicon. People often have a logo or recognisable image for their brand - I chose a star because it looks pretty.

Hyperlink: Hyperlink is just a fancy word for your bog standard link. It's just clickable content that usually directs you to another page or website.

HTML: I'm one of those really annoying people that love HTML, yet I hate that evil thing called CSS. HTML is short for Hyper Text Markup Language, and it's the standard coding that most/all websites are built upon. It does everything from make text bold to making random pictures fly around your screen. All the fun.

Meta Description: Ever seen this when uploading a new page or blog post? It's good to fill in if you can. A good description (approx. two sentences or so) should contain targetted keywords and phrases that will bring more people to your site. Yay!

Meta Tags: You guessed it! They're pretty similar to the above, only it's a combination of meta titles, descriptions and keywords. It helps provide information about your website/blog to search engines, meaning you'll get categorised a lot better.

Nofollow links: This does what it says on the tin. Nofollow links tell search engines not to take note of the link you're using. Your link is still completely valid, only you won't pass on any SEO to the site you're linking out to. If you're getting paid to link out to someone, keep it nofollow.

PPC: Is short for Pay Per Click. This is something I like to use as it ensures a few pennies come in (and I really am talking pennies) each day for me. It's usually a link or add that pays the publisher every time someone clicks on it. Shopstyle are a good example of this!

Permalink: A permalink is the link to specific posts. So it would be something like www.cocochicblog.co.uk/this-is-a-permalink. Got it? Good.

Rate card: This can be either a webpage or a document you keep to yourself, but it's a little card/page that outlines different prices for advertising/sponsored posts etc. I wrote a little bit about how much to charge for blog posts here (shameless plug yolo).

Responsive design: This is actually something Google are now paying attention to. A responsive design is something that works on a variety of different devices. If it's responsive, your site will change itself to suit something like an iPad or iPhone.

RSS: Another acronym! This one's short for Really Short Syndication, and it's basically a way that people can subscribe to your blog/posts so that they can stay on top of whatever you're churning out!

SEO: Ah, Search Engine Optimisation! We have a bit of a love/hate relationship here. SEO consists of a variety of techniques used to increase the amount of traffic to a website by having a high ranking placement on the likes of Google, Bing etc. Good SEO = being higher up on a search engine. And that means? Lots of good stuff.

Aaaaaand breathe. Okay. So for any of you that just wanted to find out what I was wearing, sorry for all the text (and scroll down for the outfit details), but either way I hope this helped out a few of you. I'm bound to have missed something/got something wrong somewhere, so feel free to pick me up on it!

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Superdry X Timothy Everest town coat *
Forever 21 white tee *
French Connection white trousers *
Superga leather trainers *

UK Fashion Blog

DIY: Make your own (crazy cheap) marble top table

DIY_Marble_Mid_Cntury_Table_Pinterest_Cheap_Interior

So, this table cost me around five pounds. Just let that sink in for a second. Okay. So. I had been scouring the internet for months trying to find the most perfect side table for my living room. Had to have a marble top (soooo on trend right now), had to be mid-century style, because again, trendy, but it had to cost me less than a months rent. Houston we have a problem. Had, I mean had.

I was doing my usual rounds in Wilkinsons the other day (you can find me in aisle four touching up the fluffy blankets) when I came across the most horrendous looking kid's stool for £4. Don't even ask me why I took note of it - maybe it was down to all of that bulk watching of DIY shows in my youth - but I did, and I'm pretty sure I'm going back to get more.

For £4, you'd expect some sort of awful fake wood material, right? Well on close inspection (seriously, I spent a good ten minutes making sure it was real wood grain I was feeling) it turns out that under all that awful blue paint was solid tree. Utter bliss. So anyway..

Wait, am I boring you? What do you mean you only came here to see how to make the table, and not here the life story behind it!? Ugh, okay. But I promise you're missing out. Onto how it's done.

 

YOU WILL NEED:

Child's stool (exact Wilko table only available in-store)
Coarse sandpaper
Paint brush

Small tub of matte white furniture paint
Fine sandpaper (or cheap nail file)
Marble contact paper (via Amazon)

 

STEP 1:

Buy a really ugly blue/pink children's stool from Wilkinsons (or similar).

STEP 2:

Sand the hell out of ugly stool using coarse sandpaper and big handful of elbow grease.

STEP 3:

Brush off leftover paint residue and apply paint primer if you're fancy (I'm not fancy so I didn't).

STEP 4:

Apply one coat of matte white furniture paint and leave to dry (I'm impatient, so didn't).

STEP 5:

Apply another coat of paint to ensure all wood/coloured paint is covered. I actually did leave it to dry this time - possibly because I had a nap. Should only take a few hours!

STEP 6:

Once dry, cut contact paper roughly to size and place onto the table top as neatly as possible. Don't worry too much about a few air bubbles, as they can either be pushed out or popped with a tiny needle. A little bit of heat tends to help with making it really flat too. So full of wisdom, right?

STEP 7:

Using some really fine sandpaper (or a cheap nail file, like I did), file the edges of the table top to make the contact paper weak at the bends. It's a weird trick Ollie taught me from his skateboarding days, but it works so so well. 

STEP 8:

Keep on filing until excess paper comes away from the table. Sand off any extra bits.

STEP 9:

Gaze at your new creation, pretend you're a super savvy DIY person like me and high five yourself. Boom.

 

So..what do you think of the table?! Be nice.
 

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