15.6.10

Tuesday Tip - Gem's Blogging Guide


Welcome to this week's Tuesday tip! Sorry it's so textual, but it kinda has to be! As voted for by you, today I'll be sharing a few blogging tips as part of a new subsidiary of Tuesday Tips, Gem's Blogging Guide! As this is the first in the series, I do feel the need to have a bit of introductory waffle, and explain why I consider myself fit to be dishing out blogging tips.

As I've had this blog for nearly 3 years, I'm in the position of having been a blogger at both ends of the spectrum. For a good 2 years, I'd just post random blogs for the sake of it. My outfit photos were incredibly unprofessional and often un-rotated! As a result, obviously nobody particularly wanted to visit it! Read my archives if you dare! Witness the shitness.

Last summer, after having the chance to develop my opinions and writing skills a bit on my course at uni, I had a bit of a wake up call and realised I didn't have to be a crap blogger anymore. I got a decent camera, some confidence, started putting more time into my posts, realised there was a blogging community to be a part of out there and decided to make this here blog a nicer place to visit and something I could be proud of, not just something to kill time when I was bored. In the last few months I've tried to develop it more and am really pleased to find that the blog is growing more every day. More importantly, it's more of a community than it ever has been before and it's just the loveliest feeling to read comments and feedback from readers.

So in this new Tuesday tips series, Gem's Blogging Guide, I'll aim to share a few tips every now and again of things that have worked for me so far. Obviously in terms of followers, and indeed layout, I may seem to be at the lower end of the blogging food chain, but since changing some things in the last 3 months, my visitors have increased by almost 200% to 15,000 a month (and counting) so I must be doing something worth sharing!

And may I add, my blogging guide is not about making your blog huge so you'll get freebies get invited to fashion week or any of that shizzle. If that's your intention, you might as well close this window now and carry on frantically copying style.com images to your desktop. L8erz! My tips are intended so the talented bloggers out there can hopefully help their target readers find them, like what they see, and come back for more.

In the sea of identikit blogs out there, it's harder than ever to make your blog float to the surface. So here's some of the trickery I've used recently that has led you to be reading this post right now.

Tip 1. Fidget your widget.

Ah, the double edged sword that is Google Friend Connect... If you've got 500 friends, awesome! If you're billy no mates, you kinda don't wanna shout from the roof tops about it, but without your sidebar widget, how will you make any mates? If your blog is only just starting out, or if, like me, you've had a blog for yonks but have only started taking it srsly recently and have a low follower count, people can be quick to judge you by the number of followers you have. So with my impressive D grade in Psychology A level (don't be jealous, guys!), I dreamt up this little method...
Move your followers widget down, down, down. You can't see mine right now. Know why? Because as you are reading I am, with any luck, luring you in and making you want to be my friend! Then by the time you see the widget, I've bought enough time for you to make your own mind up about whether I'm worth following! I think in February I only had about 70 odd followers! I was really surprised to see a noticeable increase after moving the widget down.

Well, that's kinda my star tip but I'll share a couple of other generally useful tips!

Tip 2. How to enlarge images on Blogger.

Any Blogger users will be familiar with Blogger's warped concept of what a 'large' image is when it comes to uploading images in blog posts. I've tried using sites like Photobucket before but due to my layout, the photos I embedded would often have the sides chopped off. Through the wonders of Google, I found this site on how to rejig your html to override Blogger's thumbnail large setting and make your photos the size you want. Yippee! It saves your reader having to click to enlarge, and just looks a lot better

Tip 3. Vary your posts.

I try not to let two consecutive posts be the same. If I've babbled about my life too much in one post, I'll just post a short outfit post next. This relates to the first point about seducing those new readers and means you're showing them the different things you have to offer them before they reach the dreaded make or break widget! It's also good fun to challenge yourself to think up different things to post and contributes to an all round valuable experience for the reader!

That's all I'm posting for the first instalment of Gem's Blogging Guide. You didn't think I was going to give away all my goodies on our first date did you?! I'll be back to share more blogging tips on some other Tuesday in the future! Follow me if you don't want to miss out! (Tip 4. Don't be afraid to directly ask for followers, it definitely doesn't make you look like a massive desperado!)

xo

41 comments:

  1. L.O.V.I.N.G this!!
    I'm kinda a newbie in blog land - my blog is mainly about hair but I do vary it (dogs, clothes and random stuff)
    Agree with what you've said..and will also be taking on board witness the shitness... I may even make a badge with it on.

    X x

    p.s new follower, great blog!

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  2. haa good tips i'll be sure to use them :D thanks for sharing and im looking forward to the next instalment :) xx

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  3. Hahaha! Once again your blog has made me giggle.
    Good simple tips. Your blog is definitely one of the most substantial and well written blog I follow. I'm so suprised by your 70 followers at the beginning of the year!
    xo

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  4. Ooh, interesting. I didn't think that people were that easily swayed by the number of followers - I just follow the ones I like and it doesn't matter if they have 5 or 500 followers!

    I'll definitely have a look into the photo resizing thing as it's something that's really irritating me about mine at the mo.

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  5. top tips!nice little feature

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  6. These are fantastic Gem, you are my fave blogger in terms of writing style. I'll give your post a tweet:)

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  7. I love your blog and writing style, thanks a lot for the tips (:
    x

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  8. Great tips and I hate the picture sizing thing, so I will definitely be taking your advice :)

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  9. Some great tips here, particularly the one about varying your posts - I've been quite bad at that lately but I'll have more time to post after tomorrow.

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  10. As your blog is up there as one of my very definite favourites, I was quite interested to read this!

    D'ya know, I'm a right odd-bod me. If I come across a blogpost I like, I generally skip back a few posts, just to check that the blog is my kinda thing, then I follow.. However, I have noticed I am less likely to follow someone who has more followers, compared to someone who has less. I don't even really know why.. & it's not actually a rule I follow or anything.. Honestly, I'm strange.

    I'm also going to shut up there!

    www.heart-shaped-bruise.blogspot.com

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  11. These are acutally such great ideas! I too cannot comprehend WHY Blogger doesn't increase their size options for pictures, they forced me to reach out the 3rd party picture hosting sites to post all my pics! I don't even remember what the Blogger image loader looks like tbh... maybe I'll try changing the html, such a good tip!

    I wish I knew about your blog sooner, but I'm so happy I did because it's fast becoming my favourite! Keep doing what you're doing honey, love ya!

    <3<3<3
    ps- I also agree with the idea of a blog being more like a community, rather than just a place for a person to show off. That's my biggest goal with my blog right now, to make it more "user friendly" and make people want to share their opinions, ideas, or just say hi! If you've got any tips for me then I'd love to hear them!
    <3

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  12. I try to keep my blog updated and interesting but I've never really thought of trying to boost it's ratings. Although, I used to update Weardrobe and Chictopia I now find it all a bit tedious (plus the boyf complains about my time spent blogging as it is).
    I've only just added the widget to my page after reading this post! I currently have a wopping..25 followers. Woop :o) Let's see if actually having the 'follow' button there does anything..

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  13. OooOooh I am slightly scared about trying the second tip to move the follower count lower so it's not so visible, but I trust your judgement so I'll give it a whack! Your bit about 'frantically copying style.com photos' made me smile, there are so many blogs out there, do they not realise those images that they have indeed copied from other blogs can so easily be found elsewhere? Looking forward to your next tuesday tips, it's become a bit of a signature posting tradition hasn't it :)

    Claire @ Jazzpad

    PS. Thanks again so much for the tattoo-ing recommendations sweets, can't remember if I've commented you since or not, bluegh.

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  14. Great wee tips, looking forward to the next installment!
    Haha, loving 'witness the shitness', gonna have work that into conversation soon!

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  15. Thanks you so much for these blogging tips Gem. I'm new to blogging, and was recommended your blog by Cat from Reaching For The Stars. I think you've created a really inspirational blog, I love your outfit posts and your DIY tips.

    Hopefully with the help of your blogger's guide I can make my own blog into something that I'm really proud of.

    x

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  16. *moves followers widget further down page*

    Thanks for the tips - I've done a similar thing to you - had a blog for years but never really made much effort with it until fairly recently. I agree about the idea of blogging being a community - if you don't interact with other blogs, how will people know you're out there? But at the same time, I hate the thought that people just comment on a post in the hope you'll return the favour - I'd rather they actually read and liked what I'd written!
    Looking forward to more from your Blogging Guide :)
    xxx

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  17. Thanks for the great tips! When I found your blog it inspired me to start writing in my blog again. I've followed your blog since the beginning of the year and seen your following increase, I can see why; everyone obviously loves your blog as much as I do! This post has motivated me to make my blog better. Thanks again!
    ♥ Jess x

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  18. I was interested in doing the Google Friend Connect thing but I just find the widget so unappealing aesthetically.

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  19. Wow this seem like a great series of posts; I've been reading your blog for a while and although I liked it before, I feel as if it's really come into it's own now and I can see the effort you're putting in. I may consider moving the followers widget down slightly though I have so much on my page, maybe a more streamlined layout is in order?

    Kb from I Want You To Know
    xx

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  20. Thanks for sharing some of your tips, I found them really helpful! I just started my blog a few months ago and had been wondering what I could do to make it better.

    Your blog is always inspiring and you have such random, yet fun posts! :)

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  21. Loving this post! I'm new in blogging land (like you, I've had one for a while, just never used it until about 3 months ago! Really like your tuesday tips section, keep em coming!

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  23. Gem your tuesday tips are one of my fav things on your blog! Thanks for the blog tips this week they are very useful! I will take them into account on my blog(which is also a baby in the blogosphere). What would you say about links to other blogs in your sidebar? the more the merrier?
    www.lovefashionlondon.wordpress.com

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  24. Hmm..I learnt that website users don't tend to scroll the page of a website so I was a bit sceptical about your tip on the follower link being placed lower down BUT I am definitely going to try it and shall let you know if it works!

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  25. These are great tips! What a lovely blog you have here, I've been away for too long!

    tweet tweet tweet

    x

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  26. Great tips Gem! Interesting to hear about your follower widget - I might try that! :)

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  27. These are some great tips, I love the widget idea one! I lreally enjoy reading other people's tips about blogging, you can never know too much!

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  28. I can't thank you enough for that tip about enlarging images! I've been hunting for a solution to make my photographs bigger and finally I've found one!

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  29. Fabby tips! Can't wait for the next installment!

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  30. I've always wondered how to get and see the numnber of followers on wordpress, My blog is fairly new and all I can see is the number of visits.

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  31. This is genius, thank you so much for the tips! x

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  32. i don't think it's okay to blatantly ask for followers. it does make you look desperate. if people like your blog they will follow it, you don't have to keep begging (& its really annoying)

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  33. ^^ Why so cheerful anonymous?

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  34. Wow, besides being devoid of an identity, the Anon race are devoid of a grasp of basic sarcasm too! You learn something new every day!

    Thanks for your time, anon. Now follow me!

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  35. what i really love about this blog is that it is so easily accessible (if that makes sense?). i read your posts and they make me smile, giggle, laugh and i love that! nothing is more off-putting than people who obviously take themselves too seriously.i also applaud all of your DIYs and other tutorials! damn, they make me wanna get off my lazy ass and find a pair of scissors and just get going! i love it

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  36. Seriously just moved my follower widget since it was up at the very top with only 26 followers. Perhaps NOW I won't keep getting those annoying "1 page view, 0 seconds" things on Sitemeter. Thanks!

    Colleen
    Coocoo for Coco

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  37. This has actually helped so much!! thank-you, Love the blog
    http://rosedl.blogspot.com/
    xx

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  38. I am a new follower today Gem - no idea how it took me so long! Just when I think I've sussed you as a fashion blogger I find your nail tips, or your blogging tips, or your cake baking tips - just wonderful. My blog is all items of clothing costing under £5 (mainly from charity shops) and I've been doing it for a while but have hardly any subscribers. Think it's time to move from Tumblr to Blogger but could do with some training! Love the 'community' stuff though and also the more practical tips. So glad I found this blog today!!

    Louise
    http://paupertoprincess.tumblr.com/

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  39. Thanks for the tips :)

    styleandbeautyforless.blogspot.co.uk

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Thanks for commenting! ♥