So, You Want To Up Your Blogging Game?
When I first started blogging the landscape was very different. Photos were taken on an iPhone 3 (or blackberry, lolz!). Images were so grainy that sometimes we used hipstermatic or Instagram to filter them to look a bit grungier and cooler, we didn’t intend to share them on Instagram, we just did it to make them look marginally nicer on our blogs and we actually used instagrams pre-set filters to do this, which is practically a sin now. VSCO wasn’t even a thing and it was rare to see a blogger with a basic DSLR! Times have really changed! Whilst some argue that some blogs have become too polished and editorial, I personally think it’s inspiring to see my favourite bloggers up their game, improve their skills and generally flourish over time. Anyway, if you are a blogger and you feel a bit stuck-in-rut, and you want to up your game. I’ve listed a few ways in which I think you can invest you time and cash wisely to make a few changes which could make all the difference.
Upgrade Your Theme
I love grading my theme, it feels so exciting to see everything changed around and look fresh and shiny. The images seem to pop more, the typography seems more beautiful and refined and it gives both you and your blog a new lease of life. Not only will your old content feel fresher, but it will make you feel more excited and confident about your blog which will feed into the content which you produce going forward. Personally, I can recommend Pipdig enough, they do bespoke themes on a POA basis, but you can also buy some incredible themes ‘off the peg’ which I think are awesome and cost around £40-60. It’s a great investment!
Hire A Photographer
I can’t stress enough how important great imagery is for a blogger, however, searching for a photographer for the first time can seem as difficult as searching for meaning in a Polly Shaw movie. I know I found it was daunting and quite frankly, I thought it would be financially unachievable. Plus, I wanted them to get me, so many photographers you see so cheesy shots of mottled studio backgrounds with bare feet and cheesy smiles. Us bloggers want candid shots of us out and about, swinging handbags and downing coffees, which feels a million miles away from local (and I think dated) studio photographers. Personally I work with two amazing photographers for my outfit posts, Sam who is Margate based and Ashanti who is London based. Both are friendly, affordable and fun to work with. They make me feel at ease in front of the camera and they are patient enough to endlessly shoot me until we get the shot I want: non-cheesy, non-posy with my fringe fairly tidy. Which believe me, is harder to capture than it sounds! Whilst I’d recommend both Sam & Ashanti to any blogger going, Ashanti is probably the most geographically accessible for most people because she’s London based, you can book her for 3 hours and shoot up to six outfits considering you’ll get five edited shots of each outfit, that’s a months worth of blog / instagram content right there, all for £150! FYI. I also take photos of bloggers, but I’m not as good as either of these ladies!
Buy A New Camera Lens
Personally I’m all about investing in new lenses rather than new cameras. Say you have the Olympus Pen (which is what I use) the difference between using a kit lens and the 45mm is evvvvverything. It’s a bit more of an investment, as the 45ml will set you back about £200 (it’s cheapest from Amazon) but it will really make the difference. If you are a Canon girl, the 50mm lens is a snip at around £100 and compared to the kit lens it will make a huge difference!
Interact, Engage, Build A Community
Blogging can be insanely lonely, you’re sat 9-5 pumping out content with only your computer screen to keep you company. Whilst you might want to keep yourself to yourself and stay out of ‘blogger drama’, you’re gonna be so much happier, motivated and positive if you have blogger friends around you. This could be IRL or on WhatsApp / DM’s. I truly thank my blogger friends for pushing me and supporting me all these years. It honestly makes all the difference, growing together and encouraging each other. We all have different skill sets and if we work together, we will all up our game and be so much happier doing what we do. Take time out of your day to engage and interact with like minded bloggers and build a friendships and networks. Come find me @labelsforlunch on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and come say hi!
Make A Content Schedule
This can be so hard to do as so much of what we do as bloggers can be reactive to what’s going on in the universe / beauty / fashion industry, or just a flash of inspiration. But it’s important to try, just a little to make notes, plan ahead and come up with some kind of content schedule. Anyone who knows me will know I’m the least organised person in the world and I hate planning content weeks in advance, but just give it a go, everything can be changed, edited, deleted etc. But there’s something about it which makes you feel more focused and less like you are winging it!
Again, this is sooooo hard and it’s something I struggle with constantly. It’s so hard to believe in yourself and put yourself out there and dream of huge things when your brain is getting bogged down with the fact you haven’t reached the next follower milestone on Instagram. But always try and think big, dream of all the things you want to achieve and imagine they are all possible and slowly work your way towards them. Remind yourself every email you get is someone who likes what you do and believes in you and your work. Let it fuel your self-belief and help you push towards what might feel like pipe-dreams and unrealistic goals. Remind yourself that Zoella started with 0 YouTube Subscribers and In The Frow couldn’t even get a LFW ticket let alone a front row ticket, they worked really hard, dreamed it was possible and believed in themselves. You can too!
So, there we have it, a few ways you can up your blogging game! I hope it helps and please do ask me questions if you want any extra information!