Pulling myself out of the biggest blogging rut of all time

There’s no denying it here, I have been in the biggest blogging / creative rut of all time. I could solely blame it on the Instagram shit hole, or the fact I have been soooo busy sprucing up our home, or I could blame it on the lack of motivation. But I’ll use all 3, among other excuses as to why I really haven’t had my brain in the game.

The year started off soooo promisingly, but I have progressively started to analyse what I’m doing, where I’m going and what I really want to be on the internet for.

I love the blogging world and everything about it, but there seems to be something a little stale. We all seem to be churning out the same content, including instagram pictures. And whilst I could do just that, I’m a little bored of settling in among the same content. I’ve recently re-designed my blog page and have had so much fun creating a page that suits me, more than the average content feed of a current lifestyle blogger ( I don’t have a problem with it, just don’t want to feel like everyone else ).

Read : How to Switch up your Instagram feed – for the better! 

Market research

Even as a blogger, we should be consuming as much content as we dish out. Lately I have ramped up the amount of blogs, articles and content I digest. Even when you are at the height of your game, keeping within reading will help hone, develop and maintain your writing skill. It’s always given me inspiration to what I want to focus and develop in my own space.

Focused on what I want to achieve

It’s very easy to say you want to be successful, but what does it look like. To you of course, not anyone else. For me, its creating content that inspires or keeps people up to date. Whether that be with a new palette colour in my home, or the latest summer holiday we embarked on. I want every platform I engage on, to have it’s own purpose, which all funnels back to my main hub : the blog. For this, I have had to find a better direction on some platforms, and cease others too. For now, my instagram is still a hugeeee question mark. Im not completely happy with the content I have been creating and until I know what it is I want to provide, it’s taking a lil backseat.

Where are my passions?

My blogging agenda has changed so much and that’s okay. I want to really narrow down my coverage, instead of having my fingers in too many pies so to speak. If I look at how I started in the blogging sphere, I have come a long way, and covered many topics. Some have stuck, and some have not. Some that I always find solace in creating is home, travel and lifestyle content. I have really started to resonate that into the content I produce across all platforms and try to avoid topics that don’t sit within that content area.

Re-adjusting old content

I have had quiet a few hidden gems buried within years of content, some of which could do with a re-hash and re-format. Yes, ladies and gentleman, sifting through old content can be a great way to get you groove back, and make even your old content relevant. It’s given me plenty of content ideas going forward too.

Ditching the provided for content

I’m ashamed to admit that there was a time that I was publishing provided for content on my blog. These were always disclosed, and often filled the void where I was not creating myself, but having looked back I am gutted I did this. It wasn’t me creating the content and I have always prided this space as my own. I have since ditched all that content. Many I am creating into my own, and others were not worthy of a space on my site in the first place. This de-cluttering of content has really allowed me to focus on the content I am proud to include, and subjects that will encompass what I want to achieve.

Believing in myself

Its easy to start to doubt yourself, especially when you are having a hard time motivating yourself to create. But as I was re-reading old content, looking to my draft posts and scrolling back through my Instagram feed I realised this is just a blip. Everyone has blips of doubt, loss of creativity, loss of passion. It’s powering through it and getting better. I will get better at what I have created, just like I got a little worse more recently. I do have belief that I will find passion again and I will create just as good, if not better content than my peers.

Having value in what I have to provide

Along with believing in myself, I needed to have faith in the content I could provide, and it’s ultimate value. Whilst I believe I have always added value in the way of my blog posts, I will certainly be focusing more so than ever, the value each post has for my readers. As mentioned I want each post to inspire or educate my readers.

Thanks to a little mental re-charge, a re-focus on what I want from my slice of the internet and all of the above, I have re-ignited my enthusiasm and passion for my blog. Hopefully this post has helped anyone struggling to find their spark when it comes to their creative avenues, and showcased the fact everyone and anyone can lack in passion at the best of times.

How do you find passion when you’re lacking? Have any of these tips inspired you to re-focus your creative avenues? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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How to Switch up your Instagram feed – for the better!

I’ve been working on my Instagram for a while now. From starting at my attitude towards the app, to now working on how I use the app, and what I see. Instagram, in the shortest form, is just like every other social media platform. Albeit, it’s the most popular ( right now ) and can have hugeeee potential for small business’, influencers and bloggers. Most of the brands we associate with have marketing being plugged via Instagram and influencers / bloggers so it’s no surprise we are all desperate to gain followers, likes and reach.

But instagram recently have decided to make a change, somewhere, and we have all been affected with the followers we do have being able to see our content organically. Hashtags are seeming useless and whatever time of the day you upload need matter anymore. Basically we are pretty f**ked and no one really knows how to get around this ‘new’ norm.

As I watched Vix Meldrew’s IGTV I was kicked into action so to speak, and rather than see this a negative ( it is, but what is moaning and sulking going to do about it). I decided to take it in my stride and do what I have needed to do for a fair while actually – shake up what I use the platform for, what I see and engage with and ultimately the content I produce!

But where to start? What to do first?

Where better to start than the content I SEE to spur me on to change and create content that works for me. Since joining the app many moons ago, the content I like to read, like and comment on has changed dramatically. I no longer really care for the latest lippie, nor do I really mind what the latest trend on the catwalk is. I much prefer lifestyle content, travel snaps and real chatty captions. Not forgetting the home porn of a nice velvet sofa either.

This is where I started to switch up my Instagram feed for the better.

Read : What I learnt from posting a new post every day for a year

Un-followed the irrelevant

Okay, this is not mean – lets get that straight. As I said, our agendas change, and what we used to find interesting or something we wanted to know about may no longer apply. That’s okay. You’ve got to be cruel to be kind, and you would much prefer a follower count of interested, engaged followers wouldn’t you? You’re only do the same to the accounts you currently follow. Scroll through your feed, check your following list, whatever way you find easiest, un-follow the accounts that no longer spark your interest.

** Remember – you may have hashtags that you followed that too don’t spark interest – be sure to un-follow them aswell **

Muted the un-relatable

Sometimes un-following may not be something you want to do. Much rather, muting the un-relatable content may be better suited. I have done this for some of the bigger and pretty un-realtable content. I do like to comment and check in on what they are doing so un-following may not be the best course of action. Much rather I have muted their posts so I can have a feed full of more relatable content.

Cut the ads / branded content

Whilst I don’t actually mind sponsored posts on my feed, I don’t like the ad’s Instagram shove on my feed, if that makes any sense. So I tend to hide the ads, and even mute branded pages too. I like to follow such brands, but seeing their content on my feed stops me being able to see content I actually want to engage and be updated with.

Find other users of similar content

Sometimes you really need to find like minded accounts to spur on your own creativity. Using the discover aspect, or using hashtags that include your interests, find posts and content providers that are of interest. Often refreshing the accounts you do follow allows you to find and explore new accounts and content!

Change the hashtags you use

Attracting like minded followers comes from the hashtags you use, let alone the current accounts that do follow you. You *should* be mix matching the hashtags you use on your posts regularly anyway, but more so when looking for new followers. Use hashtag generators to find new and upcoming hashtags that have relevance.

Using this time in Instagram to switch things up, alter your agenda and change what you want from the app is the most beneficial way to use this downtime. As Vix says, you won’t be losing out on anything and if it goes tits up, you have the algorithm to blame.

Will you be using this time to switch things up? What will you be changing in your app whilst Instagram sorts itself out? As always, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


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How changing my Instagram attitude has changed everything!

You upload an image, apply some hashtags you’ve spent a solid 20 minutes researching and you watch the likes, follows and comments roll in. Or not. You don’t understand why your reach is a mere 10% of your following, and how or why your following fluctuates by 30 daily. All you do is comment and engage with others and the results don’t seem to improve. You just want to give up all together.

Welcome to my world when it comes to Instagram.

Or a world I used to live in when being a blogger on the social media platform you are eager to be successful on. A channel that is based on follower count, engagement rates and the posts you share daily. Not forgetting stories that really should update and show your every move hourly!

It wasn’t until I hit a real low with the site, that I decided it was far tooo silly to be dictated by a social media channel.

I am a lover of social media. I use it personally and professionally and do believe it holds great positivity within our community. It’s a place to meet new, like minded people. We can converse, seek guidance and support and share our stories. Basically it’s ruddy fantastic. Although, as mentioned above, it’s also rather toxic. It’s easy to succumb to the numbers. And judge success based on those entirely.

I had become far more confident in myself. I was prepared to take pictures in public that were staged. I was comfortable discussing openly the fact I was a blogger and I often created chatty stories. For the person who used to hate being in the camera and chatting for radio shows at uni this was huge.

Despite clearing those personal hurdles, I was feeling deflated and a complete under achiever. Why? Because I hadn’t grown, I hadn’t gained traction on my numbers and I wasn’t what I believed success was.

But what is success? How do we judge and monitor it? What do we class as success in social media?

Over 5k, 10k or even 15k followers? Every other upload a brand collaboration? A stream of initiatives, blog posts, podcasts, newsletters? It’s hard to really establish what I truly believe is ‘success’ all I know is that judging and monitoring social media success is not how to thrive online.

Over the last week or so, I have really started to disconnect myself mentally from the app. I have been limiting the time I spend scrolling and ultimately, disconnected from the numerical value I seemed to have associated with Instagram in particular.

I’ve basically applied a filter in my mind to where it blocks the numbers, and it’s working swimmingly. I no longer feel the pressure. The desperate need to post something every day. The worry as to why my follower count has dropped despite posting similar content to all the rest.

There’s a real sense of relief. Empowerment. And I just bloody enjoy using the app like everyone else seems to. I comment where I please, unfollow those that don’t really resonate with me, and overall I’m not judging myself against others. My creation is mine. I’m not copying, mimicking or shadowing ‘successful’ others.

Wanna feel the same? Want to enjoy the creative app for what it is rather than feeling an overwhelming amount of pressure to conform to success?

Here’s some of my new mantras.

  • Keep plugging, in my own way. I won’t get where I want if I follow the crowd. I have to be me, do what I want and create the things that inspire and spur me on.
  • Take the audience out of the equation. I’m no longer creating content that got me likes, only if I bloody want to. Having a social media full of content I dislike, or find a chore isn’t going to create a success.
  • Ignore the numbers. Because it really means diddly squit. Having loads of followers doesn’t mean an engaging audience nor does having a low follower amount mean a small audience.

I’m so excited to banish the cape of social media conformity and just do what the heck I want. Whilst I can’t control the amount of reach my posts achieve, how many likes they gain, or how rapidly I grow ( or not grow ), I’m excited to get working with my social media on a more literal, healthy level.

Will you be changing how you view and use Instagram? What’s you opinion on social media, and in particular Instagram? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Posting a blog post every day for a year – What I learnt

There was a time, not too long ago in fact, that I was publishing content, like full blog posts, once a day. It didn’t feel like I was achieving if I hadn’t and many a time I would publish multiple posts on one day to ‘catch up’.

At the time, I was feeling like I was a success. I was publishing regular content and that was key right?

Late last year, after almost 365 posts, I decided to take the gas off the pedal. And whilst it felt against the grain to slow down and stop posting content regularly, I had good reason and felt a sense of relief once I let myself off the daily task.

So why did I stop? Why didn’t I carry on creating content all day every day? Surely it would help with SEO and blog growth?

The truth of the matter is, you need not to create content every day in order to grow, create a brand and engage with new and current followers.

Forcing yourself to create sub-standard posts in order to keep your post up to date daily may be adding content, but can damage your site rather than aid it.

And that’s what I was doing. I was forcing myself to brainstorm and think of content for every day of the year. And damn it was exhausting. I would open up my laptop with a sense of dread – what in hell was I going to conjure up now in order to publish something for the day?

This was all whilst I was under the illusion that this regular, fairly monotomus content was stabilizing my site into a hub of useful, damn good content that EVERYONE would want to read.

I was going to be successful by creating this daily content.

Errrrrr, no. Unless I was unemployed and contentiously wrote post after post, fiddling and editing 20 odd posts before I found one I was proud of. And I certainly wasn’t doing that.

I was creating content that was below par. It was neither terrible or fantastic, just average and I myself now, wouldn’t be too happy to post. I was also publishing pre-generated content from other providers too, just to keep up with my new regime.

And whilst at the time I wasn’t completely happy with the content I was producing and publishing, nor was I happy with the pre-generated crap that I was constantly editing to my style, and to make bloody sense, again I was blinded by the idea this is what was needed to be successful.

So what did I learn?

After those 365 posts or a whole year of posting daily, I learnt that my content is worth a whole lot more than a shoddy post every day. I take my imaginary hat off to anyone that manages to produce stunning, creditworthy content every bloody day. It takes a huge amount of work, dedication and skill to consistently produce great content. Creating content every day, in general, is hard work besides it being good or not!

Ive come to realise that I need to forget, to some degree, what makes good SEO and what might work for some, doesn’t work for me. I want to produce content for me more so than anyone else. It has to be something I am proud to have my name against, and worthy of being front page of my site.

Gone are the schedules and from now on, I’m putting my content first.

I urge anyone who is thinking more about keeping a steady stream of content, rather than the content itself, it’s not worth it. My blog is not a chore, nor a get rich scheme, its a place to spend my creativity, start a conversation and hopefully share some wisdom, big or small.

Why not read these posts too –

Blog Post necessities – Do your posts have them?
Social media scheduling – My top tips
Creating your own bank of engaging Instagram hashtags

Stop being Unrelatable – An open letter to Bloggers, Influencers and Instagrammers

BEFORE anyone claims this is a jealous ridden post – piss off, and read before you claim judgement. This is just a very honest and true representation on how I feel being a blogger, in the ever growing, changing and evolving world of bloggers, influencers and instagrammers.

www.twitter.com/charlonichole

Hi Hello, it me, that blogger that tweeted ‘the realest tweet yet‘. Excuse me whilst I roll around in my five minute twitter fame.

Only joking.

Honestly I am shook that I got as many likes, RTs and support for this random tweet that I discussed with myself Sunday evening.

Because whilst the like and RT count continues to grow hourly, there seems to be this silent agreement, that whilst may of us believe this statement to be true, we continue to involve, engage and ultimately buy into the lives of those very bloggers and influencers that do these things.

All the whilst they built their little empire off being a relatable, honest and just an all round average person, like you and me.

So where did it go so wrong?
How is it impacting the current blogging sphere?
Why do we feel we should be silent on these things and continue to follow and support those that promote completely unrelatable products, ideals and lifestyles?

https://twitter.com/sarahsolomon__/status/1115018042558287872

Because we feel we have to. We feel like we should be supportive because after all, they started off just like us and built what they have from their own hard work and dedication. We as a community like to support one another as much as possible, even if it means buying their over priced, below average products! ( Aren’t we all so kind ).

And yes, all this is true. There is no taking away from the fact they have worked hard and created a huge pool of loyal followers. We all know too well how hard it is to create a following online.

But, hard work aside, their evolving persona is far from the one we all enjoyed enough in the first place to click that follow button. And whilst we do enjoy being nosey, I can’t help but feel their space within my online bubble is disappearing. And many others as the replies I have received from that tweet.

Do I like that image featuring a £2000 watch which has been tagged and mentioned in the caption because I want that watch, I need that watch and it’s within budget? Or do I just like it because its ascetically pleasing and been put together, by no doubt, a paid photographer on a rather expensive camera?

All in all, I’m rather disappointed with the way things go when influencers/ bloggers and those alike reach the 100k follower mark ( or so it seems atleast ).

They have completely lost their integrity. They have valiantly climbed the ladder to success and along the way sacrificed everything they built it on in the first place. Gone are the advice panels, the genuine nature of content and low quality basic iPhone snaps and stories.

Whilst we love watching our favorites gain success from something we have always seen and admired before, but do we at the cost of that content? I don’t think so.

It’s damaging our community

My mum made a comment not too long ago that blogging is basically a place for bloggers. Only bloggers engage with content. And unfortunately that is pretty true. Whilst I would like to believe a non blogger who is searching for online advise, or looking to spruce up their home may stumble onto my blog, the majority of those that do are bloggers themselves.

Most BLOGGERS read and engage with the ‘huge’ ones. Watch them, look up to them, thrive to create content like theirs. So where does that lead us?

To a community that believes success is driven by high end products, studio worthy equipment and multiple press trips and/or exotic holidays. Not forgetting the six figure bank balance needed to purchase the pinterest worthy home of course.

But was their following built on that basis?

NO! Whilst the success has grown, the target audience hasn’t.

Be more Mrs Hinch

In a world full of Zoella’s there are exceptions. We all know of Mrs Hinch, and love her or hate her, she has been bloody brilliant at showcasing a positive impact on social media channels, and being true to who you are.

Growing a hinch army of over 2million, she has shown that even with a influx of followers and a growing audience, your true self doesn’t have to alter, nor does that of your target audience.

To this day, I haven’t been influenced by Mrs Hinch to purchase expensive, high end products. And for someone who has built her empire and undoubtedly experienced hefty offers to promote products to her now huge fan base, she has stayed true to everything she has stood for since the beginning. There’s still plenty of eBay bargains and Zoflora updates to be found even after 2million new followers.

So what’s my point?

Don’t be ashamed, nor guilty at now clicking that unfollow button. Content is contentiously changing, and so is what you want to engage with! We as a community have no obligation to like every post that lands on our feed by that top blogger. Nor do we have to agree with their change in standards and what they are prepared to promote and put their name against in aid for more cash.

I for one have de-cluttered my social media channels from the unrealistic ideals of the elite bloggers / instagrammers and influencers. Never would I ever spend a months worth of mortgage payments on skincare, and even if I did, I wouldn’t expect my tens of thousands of followers to relate to it neither.

Everyone is entitled to spend their cash however they please. Heck many would probably roll their eyes at the amount of money I spend on Chocolate. But, at the expense of a following and target audience who themselves cannot live a lifestyle of is utterly ridiculous.

And I finally feel, with over 800 likes and climbing, we have gained the courage to distance ourselves from those that are no longer relevant, relatable or honestly of any interest.

To those elite bloggers, influencers and instagrammers,
Remember who you are reaching. Remember who helped you to the top of your ladder. Not everything is about the price tag attached to them, and neither is the unlimited access to opportunities. Integrity and relatability goes a long way in this business.

What’s your thoughts? Do you agree? Disagree? Start some natter or join the discussion on my Twitter page now.

ps. thanks for sticking with me on this pretty lengthy post – I’ve been dying to post this one and the surge in support from the tweet has helped hugely!

The BEST WordPress themes perfect for bloggers – all under £60!

In light of the most recent blogger crisis (ergo pipdig and their use of code within pre-bought themes for blogs), I have collated some of the most gorgeous and purse friendly themes to purchase.

This post in no way is a dig or opinion piece on what is going on with pipdig and the accusations surfacing on the web. The general advise has been to change your theme if currently using a pipdig one. If you are confused by what has been reported, I strongly advise reading this blog.

This post is not to offer advise. This post is here for those that are now looking for a new theme out of caution. I myself recently purchased a pipdig theme and have been overall happy with the service and general running of my theme. However, with the popularity of the online provider, and with the recent accusations, I have been on the search for a new theme.

But where to look? You’ve already spent money on a theme – you can’t afford to spend more. I have found tonnes of equally stunning, unique and budget friendly themes……Here’s what I’ve found.

Under £10

Moos Simple Elegant Blogging Theme – £6.84
Live preview available here.

Girlfriend WordPress Genesis Child Theme – £9.50
Live Preview Available Here

Laura WordPress Blog Theme – £6.84
Live preview available here.

NatalieLite – A WordPress Blog Theme – £8.56
Live preview available here.

Adore – Beauty and Fashion WordPress Blog Theme – £7.60

Under £20

WordPress Theme – Serein – £15.20
Live preview available here.

Responsive WordPress Theme Magnolia – £13.31
Live preview available here.

WordPress Theme – Rewind – £15.20
Live preview available here.

WordPress Theme Responsive Farmhouse – £13.31
Live preview available here.

Responsive WordPress Theme & Genesis Child Theme – // YOON – £19.00
Live preview available here

WordPress Theme Savannah – £13.68
Live preview available here.

Under £30

Healey WP theme – £22.00
Live preview available here.

Bella Banana — WordPress Blog Theme — Feminine WordPress Theme – £28.51
Live preview available here.

The Maya-Divi Child WordPress Theme – £29.63
Live preview available here.

Hailey Wells WordPress Theme- £23.76
Live preview available here.

The Smiths WordPress Theme – £21.00
Live preview available here.

Under £40

Business Babe Feminine WordPress  Theme – £31.86
Live preview available here.

Chefette Pro // Genesis Theme – £37.99

Allison – WordPress Theme – £37.23
Live preview available here.

Minimal, Clean – “Jemma” – premade blog theme – £37.07
Live preview available here, here & here.
Pssst – this has lots of different styles and customizable aspects just like pipdig themes.

Victoria’s Secret Blogger – Travel – Lifestyle – Fashion theme – Responsive WordPress Theme – £35.64
Live preview available here.
pssst this theme comes with FREE installation too, so if you’re worried about taking away that pipdig theme this is perfect!

“Xoxo” | WordPress Template – £37.97
Live preview available here.

Under £50

Responsive WordPress Theme “Umea” – £46.57
Live preview available here.

Vivienne WordPress Theme – £44.83
Live preview available here.

WordPress Theme “Classy Lady” – £46.57
Live preview available here.

WordPress Blog Theme – Smitten Instant Digital Download – £45.62
Liver preview available here & here.
Pssst this theme can have a sidebar or be full screen.

Foodie Blog and eCommerce WordPress Theme – £46.57
Live preview available here.

These are just a small selection of some of the stunning themes that can be purchased online. I tend to always search Etsy and Creative Market as an array of designs can be found to suit any blog niche and budget.

As mentioned, I am not here to give any advice on using and keeping pipdig themes. As you may note, I have yet myself to change my theme. Like many other bloggers in this predicament, I am very fond of my current blog theme and had spent some money on sprucing it up using pipdig and their service. However, I am not keen on the going’s on with the use of code on my website and I am also keen to step away from a rather popular theme.

Such is, this new development may encourage many of us to purchase and use other templates, with many of us creating individual looks and feels for our site.

Have you been effected by the pipdig accusations? What’s your thoughts? Have you bought new? As always, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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How long should my blog post be?

What is the ideal post length? Am I rambling on? Is it too short? These are all questions you have probably asked yourself as a blog content creator. Truth is, there is no dead set answer I am afraid. It all comes down to what you want to achieve with the post, and what you want your readers to do with it.

Still a little confused? Have no fear, I’m going to break it down on how many words you should aim for, depending on the content type you are creating and what you ideally want to achieve from it.

Get your note pad ready….

Read : Why you should be using headings in your post – and how to!

So, the perfect length of a blog post? Well, the question is, what do you want to achieve from it? The ideal word count all depends on what you want your readers to do with it and engage. Answer these questions and you’ll find your answer.

Wanting more comments?

You’re better of creating a shorter, more engaging piece. Especially if you are generating discussion and asking questions.

But bear in mind that short posts can be bad for your SEO as they have a tough time ranking within search engines. Plus, short posts very rarely get shared on social media. If you want to build an audience, try and avoid posting short posts regularly.

Tip : If you want to grab more comments, write short, discussion based pieces that are no longer than 275 words.

Looking for more shares on social media?

Aside from having banging content good enough to share, it’s pretty vital it’s the ideal length to be worthy . Medium length posts are ideal for sharing on social media, as well as engaging an audience. They are also fantastic for SEO too.

Be sure to have a compelling, even problem solving premise to your post of the ideal length and the social shares will come reeling in.

Tip : Aim for your post to have between 700 to 1250 words.

Eager for more traffic from google?

Who isn’t! SEO is a tricky thing to master.In aiding better SEO for your blog, and enhance your traffic from google, you need to create and publish long form content that’s been heavily researched. Search engines loveeeee long, informed posts, so create them.

Tip : Create long, heavily researched posts around 2,450 words long.

Remember, create what feels best for you. Focusing on word count isn’t something to monitor every post, but certainly helps when wanting to improve SEO or engagement.

Do you keep an eye on word count? Do you have any tips when it comes to blog post length? As always, share your thoughts in the comment section below!

You should also read :

Social media Scheduling : My top tips
Blog Post necessities – How many are you missing?
Social media : How Often should I be posting?

Blog Post necessities – How many are you missing?

As we blog more and more, we all find things that we cannot do without when it comes to creating our content. Whether it be an engaging image, the killer format that makes readers stay on the page, or related content peppered throughout. There are things we all make sure we are doing to create success.

But along the way, many of us may have forgot some of the most simple and fundamental aspects of creating and publishing a blog post. And whilst we many not think it matters, it most certainly does!

Time and time again I see blog posts lacking some of the most simple, and impacting aspects, and it’s upsetting to see.

Here’s some of the simple, and effective checkpoints we should all be doing just before we hit publish.

Categorise

I have read so many posts which DON’T include a category! And it’s a huge bug bear of mine.

We all have menus which include main categories, so make use of that feature. Be sure to categorise your posts effectively so new readers can find relevant posts.

Edit the post link

If you’re like me, chances are you’ve changed and adapted your blog post title NUMEROUS times, and most of the time, this doesn’t change the link.

Be sure to check and even change that link. Making them short and punchy will make it much easier to locate and will boost SEO.

Tip : Make sure your keyword is in the link!

Link to your other posts too

Do you know how important it is to link to your other, super relevant posts? Keep your readers on your blog as long as possible and direct them to other posts that they’ll be interested in too.

Having that ‘you may like…’ tab at the bottom isn’t enough.

Tag as much as possible

Tags may not seem that important, but many readers will search via keyword. Ensuring all your posts have relevant tags will help you blogs search-ability.

Plus, that lil tab below your post with the ‘you may like’ runs via tags and categories. Keep your reader via relative content being mentioned at the end.

Format the page

We all know blogging is about the content, but not if you haven’t formatted the page to support your banging content!

It’s well worth spending time just before hitting publish to format your post effectively. Use different widgets to make it easy to read and engaging.

Tip : Use formats similar to this if creating a tip based post. WordPress now gives you so much creative freedom to play around with format. Take some time trying new blog post layouts to find the best to suit you, your audience and your content.

Include images

This may seem a little obvious but many only include imagery for the purpose of their home page.

But it’s super important to include imagery through your post. It creates relevance and can break up what may seem a very wordy piece.

Many readers will take one look at a long arse post and avoid. Deceive them, break up their attention with aesthetically pleasing imagery.

Remember, there are lots of places to find stock free imagery if you struggle to create your own.

Read : Stock free imagery to use on your blog right now

Use Headings

Headings are pillars in your blog post. They are lines of information telling the reader, and search engines, what the next paragraph of the post is about. Essentially, they are titles for each part of your blog post.

You really should be using these as much as possible. They create a structure to your post, make it easy to read and boost seo. Luckily for you, I’ve written a whole blog post about headings. Read it below.

Read : Why you should be using headings in your blog posts

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Creating your own bank of engaging insta hashtags

Recently, I posted a hugeeee post on lots of different hashtags to use on Instagram to grab new followers and of course rank up the likes. Instagram is a huge ball game and some times we seem to be acing it, and other times we are not, for whatever unknown reason.

I had become stale with the hashtags I was using and I wasn’t seeing the full benefit. Like many of us, I wanted to grow in followers and engagement and despite my efforts, I wasn’t seeing any huge improvement.

With the turn of a new year, I started to focus heavily on how to organically grow on the gram. The target is 10,000 followers and well, I ain’t gonnah get there if I use the same old same old hashtags every sodding post now am i?

I like to do things for myself, and although there are lots of online resources offering both free and paid guides, I really wanted to tailor the tags to my posts specifically. So, I started from scratch.

Here’s how you can start your own bundles of Hashtags and how to find the best engagement, for FREE!

ps. if you do feel super lazy and want to use some of the ones I have put together for various different content types, check my post here. You will have to subscribe to my BlogBlast email to gain access via password, but it’s all FREE.
Sign up down here…..

Firstly, look in the comments

We bloggers use hashtags all the time and it’s known we hide our hashtags in the comment section. Be sure to check out what other bloggers are using hashtag wise, especially if they are creating similar content to yourself, or gathering engagement from your target audience.

Make notes of popular hashtags and even look at other content associated with that tag. This will give you a great indication of some of the hashtags you should start to use.

Use online resources and apps.

Now you’ve got a broad idea of some of the hashtags being used by the big boys, start to collate and research around those hashtags. As mentioned before, you really want a wide sweeping range of hashtags that have a large amount of images associated with them, and small! Using apps and online resources to search using those big hashtags will lead you onto some of the small, similar and associated ones too.

I would highly rate http://hashtag.bigbangram.com/ for getting a broad range of hashtags together associated with one key word. When creating my huge bank of hashtags, I used this alone. It’s free to use, easy and gives you a great indication of tag popularity.

Other FREE online resources include Instavast , display purposes , seek metrics, and all-hashtag.

If you are more of an app kinda person, consider using focalmark. Once again it’s free to use and considers your location too, but you do have to pay to upgrade to be able to use things like analytics.

Experiment as much as possible

As with anything, it’s all a learning curve. Sometimes you can have a stonking great result and others it falls into the abyss of Instagram. Play around, mix and match hashtags and don’t be scared to fail sometimes.

I have been using and researching weekly for new, upcoming or popular hashtags specific to my current and upcoming posts. Instagram is a game, you’ve just got to play it!

Let me know of any super hashtags that you use and be sure to share any of your tips to tackling instagram and gathering more followers and engagement from hashtags.

Other posts worth a read :
Social media – how often should I be posting?
Top tips to tackling and managing social media
Stock free imagery to use on your blog now

SEO Boosting factors to use on every blog post

We all want to be on the first page of Google don’t we? Ranking highly in Search engines is tough work. Especially when there are so many competitors doing the same thing.

But how can we improve our SEO to ensure we are being highly ranked? SEO is a minefield and it can be a little tricky to understand what we should be doing and how.

So, for all of those, who like me want to be highly ranked and work overall on their SEO, read on. I have just the tips you need to boost your SEO and make sure the quality content you are creating has the best chance at being seen by the right people!

Read : EXCLUSIVE CONTENT – Stock free imagery to use on your blog now

Create keyword heavy titles

Keywords are vital if wanting to be found via google. Key terms like beauty blogging or more specific like high street spring 2019 looks can impact hugely on the audience you gather via google search.

Consider editing some of your old posts too and ensure those titles have all the keywords.

Edit that link – Use your keywords

Just like the title, links are just as important with including keywords. Links for our blog posts are automatically generated off the basis of our blog title, but it may be worth editing and shortening where possible.

For example : Blog post title – Creating SEO content that works for your business.
This could be editied to Buisness SEO Content.

Short, snappy and not too long in the web address bar. These are the best aspects of a good web link.

Back link to your previous posts

You’ll be surprised how many of us do not automatically link to other posts that are relatable or similar in context. You may think since there is the ‘you may like’ part at the bottom of the post, it’s enough. However, including relatable and useful back links to your other posts throughout your blog is not only helpful for SEO purposes, it maintains your readers and engages them further.

Include H1, H2, H3, etc. headers in your content.

Having a range of headings throughout your post allows Google to identify the most relevant pasts of your posts, and uses headings to help with indexing the structure of your site.

Finally, the SEO factor of headings should be noted. It is one of the main purposes of categorizing your content with headings.

There are various header types to use, with Google giving the highest value to h1 headings. Using such headings, even if it’s just h1, can have a rather large impact to you SEO rank.

All in all, headings are valued by search engines as well as readers, so use them wherever possible.

The longer the better

My final point here is the length of your blog posts. Whilst many of us believe the shorter the better ( because attention spans are dwindling don’t you know) , it’s not necessarily the right answer, especially if wanting to rank higher with search engines.

Basically, search engines loveeeee long, knitty gritty posts packed with authority, advice and tips. Data suggests the ideal length to get better SEO ranking is 2,450. I wouldn’t abide by that, but I would bear in mind lots of short snappy posts may not be doing your SEO ranking very good.

Overall, there is lots to be done to boost SEO, but updating your blog regularly, and considering plugins like Yoast is a great place to start. Improving your sites SEO is hard graft and does take time. Implement some of these rules into your new and upcoming posts, and you’ll see a huge improvement on ranking and even stats before you know it!