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

How to become a full-time blogger

how-to-become-a-full-time-blogger-tips

Aloha ladies and gentlemen! So today's post is both a Tip Tuesday as well as a bit of a personal anecdote. Last week during the FBL chat there was a load of talk about how to make it as a full-time blogging - and by make it, I'm talking money. 

So first up let me just tackle this entire thing head on: blogging is my hobby, and I really, really love it, but I'm also lucky enough to say it's become my full-time job that pays the bills and keeps me going every month. I'm in no way jetting off to Cannes every other week (or ever, if I'm honest) but it helps me pay my bills and live fairly comfortably for a girl my age. Okay, that's the painful bit over.

Rewind back to a few years ago when I was very unhappily working as a counter manager in a department store. I'll be honest, I've never been good with holding down a job, purely because I get so bored, so very quickly, so finding another suitable job at that time was high on my to-do list. 

I began blogging properly (I was on Tumblr for ages) just over two years ago. I started it for fun - just like we all do - and after my first few months of tapping away I got my first paid opportunity. £20 for a sidebar ad. I'm rich! Was pretty much my first thought. I mean, the idea of being paid even a penny for blogging was my idea of a good time, so - even though the proposed amount wasn't even going to cover a weeks food shop - £20 sounded pretty great to me.

With that came a lot of curiosity. How were bloggers being paid? How could I do it myself? It wasn't as straight forward as I first hoped. After weeks of looking into it, as if by chance I got offered a 3-month advertising contract with a company that offered me £150 a month for a sidebar. Remember how excited I got over the £20? This was like winning the lottery.

I got talking to this PR guy for a while - just general chit chat - and after telling him about my hate for my job, and how I was hoping to venture into monetising my blog, he kindly passed my link around to a few of his friends working in different sectors. In fact, that one random guy that barely even knew me was probably the push that got this entire 'blogging career' (lol) started. So thank you, if you just so happen to be reading this!

Anyway, after a few weeks of working my ass off on monetising different parts of my blog, I finally managed to hit an amount that came fairly close to my monthly earnings from my actual job (it wasn't a highly paid job, FYI). It was at that time that it finally dawned on me that maybe, just maybe (and it was huge bloody maybe) I could earn a similar amount from my blog than my other 'real life' job. At this point it's probably a good time to mention that I still lived at home with my Ma, so rent was a little cheaper than it is now.

Now this is probably the most important part of this entire story (and well done if you're still reading). I've always been the sort of girl that likes to save rather than spend, so I had a little bit of money in the bank put away for a 'rainy day', or rather a day-when-i-decide-to-quit-my-job-for-the-internet day. It had gotten to the point where I was really, really hating retail - as I'm sure some of you can relate, so one evening I decided to just work out how long I could survive without work, in terms of finances. The verdict? Four months, give or take.

So here's me thinking about throwing this job away (that I worked pretty hard to get!) all for the sake of blogging. It was just an idea. But then, ohhhhh then, it was a week before my 20th birthday - which I had booked off work - when my manager decided to tell me I was going to have to work that day. I've never been overly fussed about birthdays, and to be honest I wouldn't normally care about that sort of thing, but for some reason this day was different, and so after work that day I drove home and began typing out my resignation letter. Gulp.

So there I was one week later, working on my birthday, and instead of thinking about cake (my usual birthday thoughts) I was shaking with nerves due to the fact that I was thinking about resigning from my job - my crappy, but oh so secure job - that same day. After a while, the thought kinda passed, but then another individual that I have to oddly thank walked in. The customer from HELL! In short, she was the person that gave me the final push to run upstairs and have 'the talk' with my boss. Ten minutes later, it was official - due to the beauty of owed holiday my 20th birthday would forever be known as the day I went full-time.

I won't lie. Money did become a worry. I know that I was lucky to still be living with my Mum, but sometimes it did get to the stage where I was worried I wouldn't be able to pay her the rent. I sold (a lot) of things on eBay, did a lot of random one-off jobs here and there, went without all of those takeaways and cinema tickets we take for granted, and somehow within those two years I still haven't had a 'real job' to this day. 

Well, it feels pretty damn weird having typed out a chunk of my life like that, and I feel a little lame for admitting it but hey, I'm actually pretty proud of myself come to think of it. I won't lie and say it was a magical process - in fact, sometimes it really kind of sucked - but when it came down to it I guess it helped me realise exactly what mattered more to be: having money or doing what I love. I know what I'd rather be doing..

Hope this has helped some of you in some shape or form! To save you from re-reading this over and over again, here are most of the tips in a nutshell:

Community, not numbers

So we all know the more followers you have, the more you're likely to make money from your blog, but that doesn't mean it's the only way to make money. I started out with a very small following that kept coming back for more (engagement, for all you techies) which brands seemed to love. It's still the same way now. There are more of you, sure, but it's the fact that you're all real people and not robots that makes brands interested in working with me. Same goes for you guys!

It's not just about blogging

Remember when I said I did paid guest posts for other people/companies? They never once made their way to my site. Even now I'll do a lot of outside work that never really gets shown on my blog. In fact, probably around half of my payments come from doing freelance.

Keep it relative

This is actually a post I'm planning on doing next week (so stay tuned!) but one thing I can't stress enough is to keep your work relative to what you do. I could easily accept a £30 sponsored post from a company trying to promote dentures, but I'm not sure that's something you guys want to see, so I don't. It's so much better to wait for the good opportunities, rather than just taking anything that comes your way. Let me know what you think on this though!

Be financially stable

This isn't a must, but I think it's really smart to make sure you have a back up incase - whether that's a bit of money in the bank or just someone you can count on incase you fall on your face. I chose to go full-time when my blog wasn't financially stable, so I made sure the rest of my life was in the mean time!

Prepare yourself

This probably goes without saying, but if you're like me when you're just starting out (i.e. you don't already have $$$$ coming into the bank) then you're going to need to be prepared to work a lot. It sounds silly when internet people say that, doesn't it? But trust me, a lot of emailing, liaising and emailing can be really mentally draining, so make sure you're ready! If you're determined enough, it can be done.

I've not come from a rich family, and I've never been super well-off (I'm still not now), so if I managed to do this then I really don't see why some of your can't too. If your birthdays coming up soon, and you hate your job like I hated mine, you know what to do. (I'm kidding..I think).

How much should you charge for sponsored blog posts?

How much should you charge for blog posts and how to set your rates

Sorry for the later upload, but I've spent a lot of my evening talking to the wonderful bloggers on the #fblchat hashtag on Twitter! Tonight's discussion was all about how to transition from a 9-5 job to a full-time blogger (which will be the topic of next week) and - since the two are linked up quite nicely - I decided to wait until the end of our chat to get this post up.

So alas! The golden question. How much should you really be charging for your sponsored blog posts? Now obviously if you're in The Blonde Salad or Zoella sort of territory, you can pretty much charge whatever you like, so let's keep this all quite realistic because - let's face it - if you were already making six figures a post, you wouldn't really be here, would you?

For ages I've just been plucking random numbers out of my head, or taking whatever brands gave me, until I spoke to a few blogger friends that made me realise I was possibly charging the wrong amount for different things. I was underselling myself, in other words. 

A few months ago I was asked for my rate card...I mean what!? Why would I - just a small town girl (living in a lonely woooorld) have a freakin' rate card? To act as a guideline for PRs, that's why. 

Now obviously you're not going to have one flat rate for absolutely everything you do. Sometimes brands want a lot of social push to go alongside the post and sometimes PRs want a dedicated feature that doesn't include any competitors, which means you're going to need to work out your 'hourly rate' to coincide with the type of post that needs to be done. Sounds like fun, right!? No. No it's not. So to save you lovely lot some time I've decided to make a little table for you that will hopefully give you an idea about what to charge. It's not set in stone (by all means, ignore it completely!) but it's the sort of thing I go by.

*Update: Google no longer updates their Page Rank. This blog post has been adjusted accordingly!

Sponsored posts how much should you charge

Check your domain authority here

Again, don't take this thing too seriously - I'm definitely not a pro when it comes to working out exactly what is right. But after looking at a bunch of different bloggers and their rate cards/price lists it all sort of averaged out at this - and I mean that very, very loosely.

For my little rate card, I go by the above table as well as my social reach and quality of what I do. If you have a special skill, be sure to add in a bit of extra dollar for that, as you'll need to be covering the cost of both your time and expertise. If you happen to have hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, factor that in too. Basically, find that one (or two, or three!) thing(s) that makes you stand out from everyone else, and cater your price to that.

Aaaand breathe. Anyway. I hope this maybe helped some of you out there, and obviously feel free to put in your own points of view to help any one else out that might read the comments (or even help me out, pls). Stay tuned for the next Tip Tuesday!

Do you have any tips about how much to charge for a blog post?

UK Fashion & Beauty Blogger Cocochic

How to score your dream fashion internship

How to score your dream fashion magazine internship

So, about that news that I mentioned last week. I could pretend to act all cool about this and make out that it's hardly a big deal, but uh, GUESS WHO'S AN ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR FOR COMPANY MAGAZINE. Me, that's who. No biggie. Ahem.

Anyway, after interning with Company last week it's safe to say it all went pretty smoothly, and since this is this is perhaps my fifth internship I've decided to share with you some secrets that I may have picked up along the way. Hopefully they'll help you score your dream internship..and maybe even your dream job!?

THE RESUMÉ

They say it's not about what you know, but who you know, and whilst that may be kind of true in the fashion industry, it's not the be all and end all. When I first landed an internship the only semi-related things I had on my CV were my Tumblr account and a few pieces of College work that were seriously outdated. So if - like me at that time - you really don't think you have anything crazy outstanding to shout about, think again. It may not be a qualification or anything on paper, but even mentioning your hobbies and how they've sculpted you as a real life human being (!!) will help with your chances. I always like to include a 'personal' section on my CV that enlists a bunch of things that I'm proud of, and what skills I've gained from them. If possible, try and actually demonstrate them on your resumé if you can. Great at graphic design? Make it look that way! I can't think of anything worse than reading 500 applications written out in Arial font, so make something that you're actually proud of. If you're not super qualified, at least make it look like you are.

THE COVER LETTER

So this is the place where it's time to shine. If there's one thing you take away from this, it's to make sure that you make your cover letter personal to the company/organisation you're contacting. Find out the name of the person you're writing to, research the company and be sure to include some opinions and reasons as to why you actually want to work there.

Sounds a little boring though, right? I don't know if it's a general rule, or if I've just been lucky, but my most successful applications have included more light-hearted, personal information about myself. In fact, about two emails into chatting with the deputy editor of Company I decided to bring up my love for cats. Lolz. Now I wouldn't suggest caps-locking your ULTIMATE LOVE FOR RYAN GOSLING in an email to Anna Wintour, but it won't cause any harm to include a little bit about you - not just the work your produce blah blah blah. Again, it's all about standing out from a crowd of countless other applicants.

THE FOLLOW UP EMAIL

Unless you're a crazy pro (which if you are, why are you reading this!?) the chances of you getting every internship you've ever applied for is pretty unlikely, so expect some not-so-positive emails. In fact, expect to not even receive replies sometimes. I mean hell, I feel pretty busy sitting here writing this blog post, so just imagine how busy some of these editors are!

One thing I always like to do is create a follow up email a few weeks after applying, just to check up on whether or not they received my application (it's basically a polite way of pestering). If they don't reply, no harm done, but more often than not I'll get a reply shortly after, to which you can strike up a conversation.

Like I said, no one is going to get every internship they've ever dreamed of, but that doesn't mean it was a waste of your time applying. If you didn't get the job of your dreams, simply ask why! It seems a little daunting at first (and almost like a U WOT M8 kind of situ) but most people are happy to point you in the right direction, especially if they know how eager you are. I once applied for one internship, got declined, upped my cover letter game, came back and got through almost instantly! Just because you get declined, it doesn't mean you're banned from the halls of *insert organisation here* for the rest of time.

THE PORTFOLIO

So this varies depending on what it is you actually 'do' - for example, we all know I'm a bit of an online person (because real life is for l0zerz) so whenever I'm trying to showcase my work I'll always try to make a personalised website for that company. Even if it's just a Tumblr page or Wordpress featuring your work, going that extra mile will always look good on your application.
 

Hope this helps some of you! Shoot me any other questions in the comments below.
 

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How to Make a Kick-Ass Blogger Media Kit

How to make a blog media kit

Hello and welcome to my first instalment of Tip Tuesdays! If you couldn't already guess from the title of this post, I've decided to show you guys how to make a blogger media kit that's both responsive and - of course - nice to look at.

So, what exactly is a media kit? In short, I guess you could say it's essentially a resumé for you and your website. It tells potential sponsors exactly how much traffic you bring, what you're best at, the services you offer and why the hell they should collaborate with you. So needless to say, if you're presenting a media kit to a client it should be pretty darn good, right?

Now you might all be thinking 'wait a minute Steph, I'm hardly Chiara Ferragni here - why bother making a media kit at all?' - and to that I say, why not!? Whether you have ten followers or ten thousand, putting all of your details down on paper (or PDF..) is always going to be helpful to someone out there - and if you're going to make a media kit, you may as well make a great one. Scroll down for my top tips!

View my Media Kit here!

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Update it regularly

Just like a resumé, media kits need to be updated regularly. Had a sudden surge in Instagram followers? Update your follower count! I personally like to make a note in my diary every two weeks to remind myself to amend different bits and pieces - that way brands will always have the most updated copy to hand!

Make it visible

Sometimes brands won't always ask for your media kit, and instead they'll simply expect to see it laid out on your website. For some reason, everyone I've asked seems to feel embarrassed about making it visible, but if it gets you a job or opportunity then I say go for it!

Keep it simple

Again, just like a resumé. PR companies are busy. Very busy. The last thing anyone wants to do is read an essay-like kit on a Monday morning, so I like to keep mine to around two A4 pages. Everything is laid out really simply, so if someone's looking for something in particular they can find it within a few seconds.

Make it a PDF

Oh the joys of PDFs. Whenever you save your updated media kit be sure to save it as a PDF (how many more times can I write PDF in this paragraph) - this way all of the links you include will be fully functional, and it'll make the PR's life a whole lot easier. It's exactly the same as saving as a .JPEG or anything else - you just need to select the PDF option instead! Sounds obvious, but it really does make a difference.

Brand yourself

I'm sure you've all worked long and hard on the perfect logo and blog name, so be sure to include it in your kit! Unlike resumés, media kits can be a lot more fun and personalised, so utilise this by chucking in a few of your best pictures to give the company an idea of your work. I always like to put a little 'about me' section at the top, too, because if these people are going to start sponsoring you in any way, you expect them to at least know something about you first!

Things to include

- Blog link
- About section
- Contact details
- Monthly analytics
- Social following
- Social media links
- Press section
- Previous collaborations
- Services offered
- Rates (optional)
 

Hope this helps some of you! Feel free to shoot me any questions in the comments!