25 Essential Blogging Tips & Blog Etiquette

It seems with most bloggers, once they have been writing for a little while and are fairly established, they seem to put together a guide to help newbies and people starting off and to refresh/offer new ideas to seasoned bloggers.  I decided now is a good time to do the same and here is my offering. I hope this is helpful to some of you out there. If you have any of your own ideas, please leave a comment below.

I must say I am no expert, however these days I feel like I am at last getting the hang of it a little. So if it does take a while to get going do not worry. I have been writing for around 11 months now, however it took me around 7 months to get my first comment. Now I seem to receive comments on every post I write, many from loyal readers. Persevere, you will all get to where you want to be. It just takes time, after all I read the other day there are around 4 million beauty blogs out there, so there is certainly room for everyone. If you have great content people will want to read.

This is a ULTRA long post, so please stay with me to the end. Let's get started:

1. Devise a Schedule/Keep Organised
If you post regularly, you are much more likely to attract a regular/loyal audience than if you just publish now and then. I publish 3 times a week, on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 8am. If your readers are aware of when that post is up, they will certainly come back to have a read. It doesn't stop you posting 'bonus' content if you have something you cannot wait to put up. I would say personally, do not over publish though as I find sometimes I cannot keep up with blogs that publish more than once a day. I actually like having to wait a day or two for the next post to come up, there is a little more anticipation and I cannot wait to see what will be posted next. If you are only intending to post once a week let your readers know when, so they know when to check back. 

2. Get involved with Blogger Chats on Twitter
Twice a week on Twitter there are 2 main beauty blog chats on a Wednesday and Sunday. Use the #bblogger. There are many other chats throughout the week, however these are the 2 main Beauty Blogger chats.  Talk to bloggers, gain friendships and attract a following. Twitter can be your best friend. I didn't realise when I first started out, how important it is to network and to use all the social media. Use the below hashtags as you chat to join in the conversation. 

Monday:  8-9pm GMT #fbloggers (fashion)
Tuesday: 8-9pm #fblchat (fashion, beauty, life)
Wednesday: 8-9pm #bbloggers (beauty - general beauty chat)
Thursday: 8-9pm #fbloggers (fashion)
Friday - 7-8pm #beautychat - for any beauty lovers
Sunday: 8-9pm #bbloggers (beauty - set topic)

3. Register with Bloglovin & Twitter (Pinterest & Instagram)
When you have published your post, tweet about it and pin your photos to your Pinterest account to attract more traffic.  Register with Bloglovin. This is the main site people seem to follow blogs on. You too can follow your favourite blogs, which will appear on a news feed with new content when it has been published.   People can then follow your blog too. 

4. Register with Pick A Blogger
Pick A Blogger promote blogs. Up-and-coming and established. They offer a top service where they promote all new posts that you publish, tweet about your blog, and advertise your blog on their homepage. I pay £6.99 for 6 months for their VIP package. They are a pleasure to deal with, very helpful and I highly recommend them. Certainly worth checking out.

Pick A Blogger

5. Publish the best photos possible
Make sure they are clear, fit the width of the page, are the same size (at least the same width) and the lighting is good. I find natural light to be the best, when the sun is not too bright, so you do not get any glare on the subject. There is noting worse than reading a blog with dark, blurry pictures. However good the content, the pictures need to match up too. To start with I found an iPhone's camera to be perfectly adequate. I have since moved onto a Kodak Pix Pro HD.
6. Use Picture Monkey/Adobe Photoshop Express to edit your pictures
Both are free. I always think if your pictures are decent you should not need to edit them too much. However with Picture Monkey you are able to crop, adjust the exposure, add a banner, change the size and create colleges all for free. Very handy, your pictures can look much more polished. Taken a picture outside and it is perfect apart for your partner mowing the lawn to the side? Crop him out! Adobe Photoshop is another great one, ideal if you wish to edit pictures on an iPad.  Just download the app first.
I would say don't alter the exposure if you are swatching say an eye shadow or lipstick as this can completely change the colour, so not providing an accurate swatch.

6. Comment on other peoples blogs
Do not SPAM bloggers (i.e publicising your giveaway on their blog). However if  you have read a bloggers post and they have written something helpful, inspirational or you enjoyed it. Let them know. Blogging is certainly hard work. If people comment and show appreciation it makes it so worthwhile.

7. Label your Photos 
Once you have written your post, added your pictures and checked everything, make sure you label your photographs. This is how I understand it; when someone searches for say 'Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara', Google will eventually recognise your picture (as it is labelled), and hopefully it will come up on the Google search as your blog achieves views and hits. To label, click on your photo, then 'properties'.  In the 2 boxes Title Text and Alt Text complete them, providing exactly what the picture is off. Simples!

8. Publish In Advance (i.e. Scheduling)
I try to have around 20-30 blog posts written and ready to go. Then if you do have writers block, you do not have to worry. You can take time out and will still have content published on a regular basis.
Going on that dream holiday, schedule. I find what I generally do is have all of these posts published, then in the meantime, I am trying new products, ready to review. Am planning and thinking of new posts I can write, then when my writing is flowing, I write as much as I can. 

9. Do NOT worry about the dreaded WRITERS BLOCK
Need some ideas then you can do the following:
Compile a Wish list (i.e items of the colour pink, a Nars wishlist, New Look wishlist, skincare etc - you get the idea) //  Make a new post (all those foundations or mascaras you have reviewed, link to them one post, so your newer readers then get to read some of your older material, plus it helps you out creating new a new post) // Fashion Hauls // Beauty Hauls // Product comparrisons // My Top Ten (i.e lipsticks, mascaras, makeup brushes) // Makeup Challenges // Face of the Day // Outfit of The Day // Updates on you and your blog // Your favourite bloggers // What's in my makeup bag // Makeup you would like to try // Create a dream product // Disappointing products // Monthly favourites // Empties // Capsule wardrobe

The list is endless, the more I write, the more I seem to think of to write.

***IMPORTANT  - Do not copy others content. Do not use their pictures without asking***

10. Talk to your iPhone
Strange huh? I wanted to write the other day and could not get the words out. I was trying to review a product. Anyway I hit that 'Voice Memo' button on my iPhone and I just talked, exactly what I thought of the product, what I liked and didn't like. Then I played it back and typed and voila one original view, literally in your own words. And it works, it can add humour and originality to the post. Give it a go!

11. If your ideas are flowing, keep writing
I find I can either write and write or am totally blank. The days when things are going well and I have loads to say I just keep writing. 

12. Allow yourself a certain amount of time each week/day to blog
Organise yourself and invest in some stationary, keep a diary.  You can keep a note of which pics you have to take, which posts you have to finish and when you have to publish by. If you become really keen and then attend blogger events you can always keep a list of where and when you are going. If you are in contact with any companies diary on to chase them up.

13. My Blogging Kit consists of:
The latest magazines on the shelves
iPhone & iPad
Inspiration from other blogs
(There is a big difference between copying and using that idea, but adapt it in a certain way to suit you).
Stationary - diary, pens, post-its
Support from all you lovely bloggers.
Lastly my brain and a cup of English tea!

14. Head over to Blogcademy
A range of home school tutorials costing from around £20 each. Handy, informative and certainly the right way to go if you wish for some expert advice. Their motto is 'No Bordeom, No Blathering, No Bull-Shit'. Quite right!

15. Respect other Bloggers
As with everyone, treat other Bloggers the way you want to be treated.

16. Hit a Milestone? Want to run a giveaway?
Use Rafflecopter.  Free and easy to use.  You can arrange how long you want the giveaway to last for, the terms to enter and then Rafflecopter will select the winner at random.
Hint - when the winner has been drawn, check that they still are adhering to all of the rules of your giveaway.
As you add your own terms to the giveaway, ask a question such as ' what do you enjoy reading about?' or 'what would you like to see more of?'  Readers are providing you with ideas and then you are giving them what they want in return, so hopefully they will keep coming back. 

17. Subscribe to Beauty Boxes.
If you are on a budget or are not wanting to spend too much money to start off, then you can subscribe to one or as many beauty boxes as you want from as little as £6.95 (You Beauty) per month. Glossybox and Birchbox are the main ones.  You will receive a selection of up to 5 surprise items a month tailored to your skin type, hair type etc. Both of these are around £13.00 including postage and you can cancel the subscription at any time. Giving you new products to try and review.

18. DO NOT Blog if you just want free stuff.
You have to be genuinely passionate about what you are writing about. People will see straight through you if you are just in it for what you can get. Yes, it is lovely if you are sent something or a company wants you to review something, however it should not be the reason you are blogging in the first place. Blog because you LOVE it, and you never know one day you may just be sent something amazing to review.

19. Arrange a beauty box exchange from another country
Megan from Southern Charmed Blog has recently been kind enough to send me lots of goodies from the USA in exchange for some UK products. If you plan on doing this, set a budget, email each other your wish list and swap. This is great fun and a great way of trying other things unavailable to us. Yes, you can order products available from America online, however the mark up is crazy and you still cannot get everything you probably wish for.  

20. Have a Beauty Budget/Account/Arrange a Sale
Beauty blogging can be expensive. At least as expensive as you make it.  I now have a separate bank account for blogging. When pay-day hits, I transfer a certain amount of money each month and that lasts me to pick up any treats I want to get for that month. I tend to try things a few times and then arrange a sale at knock down prices (often I sell at work). My mates get cheaper than shop prices and I have money to put back into my 'float' to start again. This is a great way of selling unwanted stock and being able to replenish with new products to try. Everyone is a winner. Alternatively you could arrange a Blog Sale.

21. Content is Key 
So you have a great looking blog and fancy design, but make sure the content is good too. After all people come to read what you have written. Go for style and substance not style over substance!

22. Carry a Notebook
I get ideas at the most random times (at work eating my salad, in the car at the traffic lights - pull over first to write! In Primark, staring at the Maybelline counter - you get the idea), and if I didn't have a trusty note pad, I would forget soooo much. Jot it down.  Even if you do not use that idea right away it most certainly will come in handy in the future.

23. Make Sure your Blog is Laid Out Well and Easy to Navigate Around
I hate finding a great blog, with amazing content but I cannot find where to follow. Have social links, make it easy for your readers to keep in touch.

24. Keep your Products Organised/Shop your Stash
I have endless drawers and limited space. So I have to stay organised. Everything has its place. I have invested in some Muji drawers, so I know exactly where everything is. Stuck on ideas, go through your makeup and skincare collection and shop your stash. This always gives me inspiration. I often think 'oooh let me write about that'.  

25. Watch You Tube and Read Blogs (it goes without saying!)
Watching tonnes of videos helps me gain inspiration for new posts and ideas. 

Blogging Tips and Etiquette

Blogging Tips and Etiquette

Blogging Tips and Etiquette

Lastly as with anything I find that the more I put in to my blog, the more the get out. Remember it is supposed to be fun, so if you are stressing about it, take a time out and have a cider/glass of wine/beer/cup of tea/coffee (delete as appropriate). Come back to it when you're ready. Whether it be a few days or a couple of weeks, let you readers know you are taking a break, they will come back once you start posting again. And no doubt you will have thought of all that new content you can publish.

Remember it is not a competition and do not compare yourself to other bloggers. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, just put passion into your blog and make it the best it can be. Have Fun! There is room for everyone.

I hope this has been helpful and you have enjoyed reading this. If you have any tips of your own, please share them in the comments below.

If any of the scheduling info is wrong, or you have anything to add, then please let me know.