Tag Archives: blogging

I Don’t Care About Blog Comments… and You Shouldn’t Either

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OK so that’s not strictly true. I love to get feedback from my readers and it’s awesome to see so many encouraging words after I’ve published something. However, recently there’s been a massive shift in how people interact with and read blogs, and for the most part, these factors mean that across the board blog comments are going down. If you think of your comments as some kind of indicator to the success of an article, then this diminishing validation can be incredibly discouraging.

When I started writing online, leaving a comment on a blog was pretty much the only way to communicate with the blogger. Twitter hadn’t reached the mainstream, Facebook didn’t yet have business pages and Instagram was nothing but a twinkle in Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger’s eyes. A lot of bloggers didn’t even publish their email addresses for fear of spam or Internet weirdos.

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However, these days blog readers have so many ways to contact or leave comments for their favourite bloggers. Conversely, many of these options are a lot easier than having to log in and leave a message on the website. If you’re on Facebook and you see something you like, it only takes a second to click ‘like’ or to leave a little note of approval. Clicking through to the post, logging in or registering, leaving a comment and maybe even having to pass an intelligence test on the actual site is a lot more effort.

Of course it’s nice to get that external validation when you’ve done a good job and I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t get a little bit excited when they see someone writing something nice about them on the internet. But, forgive me because this may rub you up the wrong way, blog comments (and how many you get) are nothing but vanity. There are so many other ways to judge whether something you’ve published has been popular or resonated with your readers.

If someone comments on your site it stays right there, locked in the comments section under the post. In my opinion, any SEO ‘help’ from comments is marginal. Yes, they create more content, which search engines love, but they can’t be controlled. If the comments start to go off on an irrelevant tangent this can actually hinder that post’s searchability for the terms you actually want. However, if someone retweets, links via their own blog, leaves a Facebook comment, likes or shares it, the content is going to reach many more people than it might under it’s own merit. It’s free viral marketing.

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Help! I’ve Fallen Out of Love with my Blog

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Dear Kat, I have a massive dilemma and I really hope you can help. I’ve been blogging about a certain topic for the past few years and I’ve really loved it. I’ve made some great connections within the industry, built up a decent readership and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. But I have a problem… I feel like I’ve kinda fallen out of love with it – not with blogging, but with the topic I’m writing about.

I know you say that the key to successful blogging is having something different to say and a unique voice to say it in, but right now I really feel like I don’t. I used to wake up every morning full of excitement and new ideas around the topic I write about and now… nothing. It’s a massive struggle to come up with anything new and I’m certainly not excited about anything I’m writing.

So I guess what I’m asking is what should I do? I don’t want to give up blogging and all the hard work I’ve put in but I also don’t want to keep plodding along for the sake of it. Do you have any suggestions on how I can re-find my passion?

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For most of us, starting something new is a really exciting time. We’re motivated more than ever and, if you’re a blogger, churning out more content than you know what to do with. Your head is full of ideas and your passion is at an all time high. But like with anything, over time monotony and even apathy or resentment can start to set in. You get bored, you find new interests and you might even consider moving on to the next thing… after all, getting that ‘new project high’ can be kind of addictive.

The thing is, when you’re a blogger, however big or small your readership might be, when you go through this you can also start to feel very… exposed. As bloggers we’re expected to really have our shit together. Our readers count on us to churn out regular and engaging content, no matter how we’re feeling about it. It’s at this stage that a lot of bloggers quit, or bring on an intern to do a lot of the work for them, but that isn’t the only option.

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The Ins and Outs of Sponsored Blog Posts

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I‘ve been blogging for just over a year, I have a nice niche following, consistent stats and I make a decent amount of money each month from banner ads.

I’ve always said I wouldn’t do sponsored posts because I only ever wanted to write about things that I really believed in but I’m now starting to see that might have been a bit naive. However I’m totally lost and confused and every time I start to think about doing them I get really worried that I might be end up doing it wrong or something. How is best to manage it and how do I know what to charge?

Does having sponsored posts forfeit my right to write about things I like when I’m not getting paid? For example, how do I justify charging someone for a post when I might write about another company just because I want people to know about them? I would obviously only write about things I thought were good but it still feels confusing. 

I’m also really worried about putting off or upsetting my readers. Is there a knack to writing sponsored posts that people still enjoy? I’ve read some really bad ones where it all sounds really fake. How do you keep your sponsored posts interesting for your readers while still getting the message across?

And finally where do I draw the line? I’ve built great relationships with a lot of companies and often if people want to be featured I’ll get them to write up useful and informative copy so it’s still interesting for my readers but how do I know when something is in sponsored post territory and when it’s not? 

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Love them or loathe them sponsored posts have fast become a big part of blogging life. If you’ve worked your little blogger butt off and built a site that readers flock to regularly, soon enough brands, PRs and small businesses will start to approach you wanting a piece of the pie. If you have an engaged and loyal audience (this is key – bigger isn’t always better) they’ll see your blog as the perfect platform to promote their product or service.

When should a post be sponsored?

OK so first things first, how do you justify charging someone for post when you write about others for free? I’m not going to lie, this is a tricky one. You, and only you, can decide when charging for a post is right for your specific blog but you must do so before you start accepting any payments or it can all get very confusing very quickly.

As a general rule I’d probably say that if a company is approaching you for coverage then you are well within your rights to explain to them that there is a fee involved. However it is still your prerogative to occasionally write about things you’ve found or experienced that you really loved and think your readers will enjoy or benefit from. It is your blog after all and holding back on publishing things that you know will be popular just because you’re not getting paid is only going to hamper the success of your site.

You are right though, you do need to draw a line. I feel that if someone is coming to you for coverage they clearly value what you have to offer and therefore it needs to be a mutually beneficial relationship (i.e you have to get something out of the collaboration too). Again, only you can decide what that might be. Does an engaging guest post benefit you? Would you accept a sample or gift? Or do you only want cold, hard cash?

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An Official Preview of ‘Rock n Riot’ – A Punk Themed Styled Shoot

Photography Credit: Steve Gerrard Photography

This week I was Birmingham for my latest photo shoot. As always, I am so excited to share the results and as ever I’ve tried, with my trusty team, to go bigger and better with the theming, styling and general execution of the whole thing.

The brief I gave was ‘punk!’ and the team I worked with on Wednesday were incredible (literally words can’t describe) and really got into the whole idea. Every single person brought their own adaptation of the theme along, and somehow it actually worked together brilliantly.

Photography Credit: Steve Gerrard Photography

My mind was blown more than once… the graffiti made me all wobbly inside and the outfits I was allowed to wear were…well…incredible.

Think a punky, gothy, feathery, glittery, Rock n Roll-y, Lady Gaga-esque styled shoot and you’re on your way there… I can’t wait to share the full thing and the story behind the shoot, but for now I couldn’t resist a few teaser shots from official Rock God photographer Steve Gerrard (that will now be his full title) and ‘omg I’ve never laughed so much with you’ Emma Case who was pretty much on hand to keep me giggling/screaming/pouting all day…

Photography Credit: Emma Case Photography

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Post-it Notes – Top Tips for your Wedding Planning & Business – 13th May 2011

Photography Credit: From Me to You (gives me goosebumps!)

On your wedding day the teeny tiny details really won’t put any bearing on how much you enjoy yourself…or your future happiness. So what if your colours don’t exactly match or your flowers wilt a little? What matters is that you’re getting married (yeeey!) Planner, Kelly, agrees with me,

“Remember the bigger picture. As much as the small details may seem important while planning the wedding, try and take a step back every now and again and remember why you are getting married. You can get so caught up with colour swatches and guest lists that you can often forget the whole reason why you are marring each other. Make sure you create date nights where you don’t talk about the wedding at all.”

From Kelly of Boho Weddings & Events

Starting and maintaining your own business is undoubtedly immensely difficult, but also hugely rewarding when all the hard work pays off.  It is also really difficult to know which steps to take to progress your idea from just a ‘bit of fun’ to a fully functioning business (if that’s your goal.)

However one way to give yourself a step up from the competition is to be a million percent passionate about your subject and always be thinking about different ways to approach your business and ideas. I strive to keep my blog content fresh, original and unique and I’m not afraid to be bold/different in my ideas. By doing this (I hope!) has made me stand out from the crowd.

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Post-it Notes – Top Tips for your Wedding Planning & Business – 6th May 2011

Photography Credit: via Creative Review

DIY is a great way to get creative, stamp your personality on your day and save some money. Reader Terri writes,

“I fell in love with the shoes from the GHD Cinderella advert that were covered in rhinestones! I thought they are perfect for my bridesmaids. I managed to find Benjamin Adams ones for around £275 and Perditas would customise your own for around £150. However I am having 11 bridesmaids so both options were way out my budget! I found some shoes in the Barratts sale for £15 each and snapped up 11 pairs! I brought 20,ooo crystals for approx £65 and some gemtac/E600 glue and got stuck in! And they have turned out amazing, I couldn’t be happier! If you set your heart on something that is out of your price range then have a go at a DIY version!”

Terri, TheBrideFairy

I can not claim this tip as my own, it’s an idea that is bashed around by pretty much ALL my favourite industry friends and so I think you need to know it too! I am a huge advocate that branding is one of the most important things to any business. Invest time and money into getting this right. Implementing the right branding, and one that is a true reflection of you and the type of client you want to attract, will make your business a hundred times more successful. A corporate, standard website will give the impression that your business is corporate and standard. Who you you want to be? Don’t be afraid to portray yourself in this way. Do you want to be corporate and standard or creative and stand out?

When thinking about how to brand yourself, you must must must watch this incredible video from my home-girl Jasmine Star. I seriously can’t recommend this enough for anyone in any line of business. She pretty much says everything I’d want to but don’t have the time to.

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