Saturday, 28 February 2015

10 Blog Posts You Should Read About Blogging - Part 6

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of blogging tips posts out there? Do you just want to find some great new reads? Discover 10 great posts about blogging, social media marketing and more in part six of my blog series below.
Useful blog posts with blogging tips

  1. Breaking down my day and being more productive is one of my main priorities at the moment, so the post, Here's the Schedule Very Successful People Follow Every Day on Barking Up The Wrong Tree has been a great help to make me implement the research to improve my efficiency. 

  2. For a different take on generating post ideas, I discovered the wonderful What Should I Blog About? (Disclaimer: This Is Not a Copy and Paste List) by Sarah Von Bargen which had me reaching for my notebook in seconds to get brainstorming.

  3. If you're still unsure about disclosure, the post Bloggers & the ASA: What You Need to Know about Declaration, the Law and Your Responsibilities on London Beauty Queen is the most thorough and clear one I've come across. 

  4. If you're still contemplating writing a newsletter for your readers, it's worth reading Are You Overthinking Your Email Campaigns? on Elle and Company for great tips for making one you can manage. 

  5. Everyone has some idea of what they think blogging involves, but the guest post Why You Should Not Start a Travel Blog on Problogger tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  6. Have you ever thought you follow too many people on social media? Or are you overwhelmed by the amount of links and rubbish content you have on your feeds? The Purge: What Happens When You Unfollow Everyone on the Internet by Helena Price is her fantastic story of something we all think about doing. 

  7. A great follow-on resource to the above post comes in the form of Social Media Minimalisim: 3 Step Detox (Incl. Worksheet) on Into Mind to help you evaluate and improve your social media marketing plan.

  8. We can all improve on our writing so JC Tech: 5 Writing Tools You Need to Use by Jasmin Charlotte is a handy post for making our content the best it can be. 

  9. Whether you choose to read the post, listen to the podcast or both, 5 Hidden Money Opportunities in Your Business by Amy Porterfield will encourage you to make the most of your skills to help your blog or business grow.

  10. Ever wondered if your post is too long/short? Or whether you're posting enough? Can You Grow Your Organic Traffic Without Generating Content? on Quick Sprout answers all of your questions and provides some great evidence to support the advice. 
You might also like to read...
Useful Resources, Autumn Leaves
Blog Love, XO Sarah
Link Love, Allyssa Barnes
Weekend Reading, Kory Woodard
Weekly Resources, The Blog Market

Over to you...
Which of the above posts did you find most interesting to read? Have you read any useful blogging posts lately that you would recommend to myself and other Autumn Leaves readers? Or have you written any that you'd like to share? Leave your answers in the comments below. 

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

8 Tips on How to Blog on a Budget

Do you seem to spend more now that you blog? Are you unsure where to invest in your blog? Then todays' top tips will help you. Read on below to find out my best advice for blogging on a budget.
How to blog without spending money
Research before buying.
Of course there are times where we're willing to take a risk on something because we love the packaging or the concept, but if you're purchasing things regularly that you will use for your blog then it's a good idea to take the time to look more in depth into what you're spending your hard earned money on. Whether you're spending money on camera equipment, a vacation or a lipstick, it should be something that you will get use out of and won't just be used once or twice before being left at the back of a drawer or the bottom of the wardrobe. It's also a good idea to shop around for the best deals and sometimes buying secondhand is useful. 

Teach yourself the skills you need.
Whether it's learning how to take better photos rather than hiring a photographer, taking a HTML course instead of paying for a designer, or implementing your own SEO techniques rather than employing an agency to do so, it's always worth investing a bit of time learning how to do these things to save time and money later on. For more information on this, I recommend reading my post 5 Top Tips on How to Manage Your Time More Successfully.

Use free resources that are already out there.
Whatever you need to know or want to do, then there will be a free resource out there somewhere. Pinterest is a great place to find what you're looking for, as well as simply searching for posts like Useful Sites for New and Established Bloggers in a search engine which will provide you with lists of great tools you can use for things such as free stock photos, free fonts and free blog design templates so you don't have to spend any money there.

Find ways to make money to support your blog.
Many bloggers out there are monetising their blogs - whether they're making pence or thousands of pounds, there are so many ways in which you can earn something. You could do this by offering advertising, using affiliate links, creating a product for your readers to purchase, freelancing or by selling items in a blog sale. You don't have to have a huge following to make money from your blog - I think that's a major misconception; you just need to put time, hard work and passion into it whilst optimising the best resources available to you. 

Do your own market research. Where is it worth investing?
You don't have to fork out to advertise your blog and you don't have to purchase high end products for people to read your posts - taking the time to get to know who your audience are, what they like and what services they are interested in is most valuable to you. It's more important to invest your time than money, and if you do choose to put some money into your blog, having a clear idea of where it is worth spending your cash is key. 
Share your skills or collaborate.
If you need something doing such as a new blog header, why not speak to a designer and offer them one of your skills/services in exchange for them creating one for you. Or why don't you work on a blog series where you work with other bloggers in your niche? My blog series where I worked with some of my favourite bloggers on posts like Ultimate Blogging Tips and Advice For All Bloggers has been one of my most popular ever. You could interview other bloggers or share some of your favourite blogs/posts of theirs to create new content rather than purchasing a product to review. 

Think about alternative post ideas.
Style an item in a different way i.e. "3 Ways to Wear...", create different makeup looks or include a product in a post like "Winter Skincare must haves" or identify different ways you can talk about a location i.e. places to eat, places to see, places to stay. The ideas are endless, just take the time to brainstorm around a topic. 

Consider another niche or topic.
Certain areas of blogging are more expensive than others, but blogging should be an expression of your passion and interest in a subject so really you don't have to spend anything. At the end of the day, you have every right to spend what you want to on your blog, but you should never feel pressured to spend more than you can afford or to purchase something you don't need because others are all sharing that on their blog. 

You might also like to read...
50 Post Ideas for Beauty Bloggers, Autumn Leaves
How to Revamp Old Blog Posts, Blogging on the Side
150 Blog Post Ideas for When You've Hit Writers Block, The Sunday Chapter
300+ Writing Prompts to Inspire You Through the Year, The SITS Girls

Over to you...
What do you do to save money when blogging? Do you agree that you don't have to spend much to have an awesome blog? Have you spent more on something 'for the sake of a blog post'? Leave your answers in the comments below.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

5 Top Tips on How to Manage your Time more Successfully

How many times have you said "there's just not enough time to get everything done!"? I know I have on hundreds of occasions, so I recently finished reading the book Successful Time Management (Creating Success) - a seriously wordy read all about how to be more efficient and effective with the time you have to complete everyday tasks - sounds perfect right? Aimed at the office businessman or woman, I picked this up on my mission to make Autumn Leaves into a business/brand (aka professional blog) but I have to say, it's not an easy read. So instead of recommending you go out and buy it, I made notes of the key things that would benefit any of us bloggers or employees to make our days flow a little easier, ready to share with you in this post.
How to be a productive blogger

Review your current process and identify the barriers to your time.
Obviously if you've opened this post then what you're doing at the moment isn't working for you, so you need to look at what it is that isn't working and why it isn't working. It's probably a case that you often procrastinate rather than getting things done or that there's something preventing you - I recommend reading Jen's post: Three Steps to Overcoming Creative Resistance and downloading RescueTime which will break down exactly what you spend time on when you're on your computer/phone at least. Once you know what it is you spend time doing most, you can look for ways to do that more efficiently which brings me onto my next point...

Spend time to save time later.
Why don't you spend 10 minutes setting up your email signature properly so that it's automatically ready for when you reply to/write an email? Why don't you spend an hour scheduling social media for the week? Why don't you take all of your photos in bulk so that you don't have to get all of the equipment out again later? Why don't you create a folder system on your computer that will help you to find things easier? Why don't you make that playlist rather than having to keep switching tabs to change song? And why don't you show someone how to do something instead of doing it yourself only for them to ask you again in the future? All of these things will save you time in the long run, even if you think it's too time consuming to do it right now.

As always, you need to have a plan that has priorities and goals.
Plan your working hours, what research you will need to do and create checklists for daily, weekly and monthly tasks which will keep you on top of things comfortably. 

Evaluate and ask yourself questions - there's always something to improve on.
Do you really need to send that email, or if so could it be shortened? Could you have saved time by providing that information in an earlier message? Do you need to take on that extra task? Are you favouriting tasks and dismissing others? Are you using too much paperwork? Is there another resource/app that will help you to get something done more effectively? Are you duplicating un-necessary information? Are the deadlines you're working to realistic? Are you putting off following up and networking? Are you filing things you didn't really need to keep? There are many things you need to think about that you're probably doing that prevent you from being more efficient. 

Shorten a task each working day by 4 minutes. It adds up to 2 extra working days per year... imagine what more you could get done with that time!

You might also like...
How to Use the Alarm App for Blogging
Use the 52/17 Rule to Maximise Productivity, 99U
25 Tips to Become a More Productive Blogger, Blog Clarity
Over to you...
What do you do to be more efficient with your blog/work? Are there any of the above things you're guilty of? Leave your answers in the comments below!

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Key Tips on How to Get more Comments on your Blog

I'm not claiming to be someone who gets hundreds of comments on each blog post, but I've certainly seen an improvement in the amount I get over the past few months. While commenting on blogs isn't the easiest thing to do unless you're sat at a computer or laptop, engagement through comments is really important. If you ask most bloggers, they'd welcome comments, positive or negative, as long as they're written either with constructive criticism or without totally un-necessary hate towards the author, it's just the "follow me back" ones we can't stand! Today's post is three simple tricks (that you probably already know but might be forgetting!) to up the comments a little more.
How to increase engagement on blog

You need a CTA (Call to Action) or you need to change the one you're using. 
It might sound silly, but actually it's something you really need to include. Telling the readers what to do/where to leave the comment is proven to increase comments; at the bottom of each of my blog posts I make sure I ask 2 or 3 questions followed by "leave your answers in the comments below" - this way people know where to look. It might be obvious, but you will come across blogs that have strangely decided to make it difficult to find the comments section, have made it really small or have a complex sign-in system to their comment form. I also find that asking questions make the reader feel that you are writing for them, not yourself and will too, get them more involved. They need to feel connected with you through the post and you need to leave them wanting to know more (so don't make it too long) - making the comments section the ideal place for them to ask questions to you, creating discussion and a genuine connection between you and previously "Reader #1942".

It's down to you now: reply to comments and comment on others' posts.
Ok so some of your readers may only pop by once, read a post, leave a comment and never return, but why would they if you never bothered to reply to their only comment? Although I sometimes slack on this, I try to make an effort one day per week to reply to any comments left on my posts with a thorough and engaging response that may spark further conversation. If your readers know that you'll get back to them should they leave a question, then they'll trust you more and are more likely to spend time on your blog, reading future posts and maybe even visit your archives. A simple 'thank you for taking the time to comment' is acceptable if they've only left a very brief comment, or a click through to their blog and a comment on one of their posts is too - all so your reader hasn't been ignored by you. Return the favour, just as you'd like someone to do for you when you leave a comment.

You could always give your readers an incentive.
If your readers are informed that you will take a look at their blog in return, or if your favourite comment on a post wins an advertising space on your blog, then you're bound to get more comments. While you wouldn't want to put a 'giveaway' on every post, a simple statement (which you can automatically set up in your comment form) that appears every time someone enters it will act as a gentle reminder that you take the time to read every comment and that you will do something if they go ahead and share their thoughts. 
Over to you...
How do you get more comments on your blog? Are there any of the above that you do/don't do? What makes you comment on someones' blog? Leave your answers in the comments below.

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Top Blog Tips I Learnt from a Short Marketing your Business Course

Last month I enrolled on a course all about Marketing your Business to complete in my spare time. It's an online course that is fully accredited and you receive a certificate at the end to prove that you have achieved enough marks to pass. Once you activate the course you have 45 days to complete it, but I finished it in just 5 hours - perfect for the busy business man or woman. That doesn't go to say that I didn't learn much from it however, and for today's post I'm going to share with you some of the key things I took away from it that definitely relates to us bloggers too. The course is made up of study material and 'exams' for each section; the exams are very brief, multiple choice test questions that you'll pass with flying colours if you've taken notes along the way. I walked away with a Distinction and plenty of knowledge that I shall be implementing into Autumn Leaves. 
Treating blog like a business
Marketing and market research is beneficial to bloggers & entrepreneurs.
We all do this in some shape or form, but the reality is that it's really good to know what's already out there especially when you're new to it all or changing direction. You need to know who your target audience and demographic are, What do they want and need? What can you offer that's different and would make a reader or client choose you over someone else? You don't have to copy anyone else, but you can implement certain aspects that work for others' and make it your own. Once you've identified these things, even if it's just by taking a quick survey, you can begin to move forward confidently knowing that you're not reproducing a service or content that is already readily available, instead you're bringing something new to the table that will be exciting and may even meet a need that someone didn't even know they had.

You always need some sort of plan too.

As bloggers we always talk about wanting to be better at planning posts, but have you thought about planning the other things that come with that too? Like I mentioned above, you need to know a little about who your target audience are, so once you've got that information you can begin to plan how you're going to reach that target audience. Your plan should contain your short and long term goals, how you're going to meet the goals, an analysis of how you're getting on with them and an evaluation of how you're going to improve or maintain them. A plan needs thought putting into it - a strategy almost that covers all areas and ideas. It doesn't have to be an official document, it can be lists in your notebook of things like Best Times to Post on Social Media, Useful Sites and Resources or even a checklist (rather than a wish list) of real materials that might benefit you such as a specific piece of Camera or Blogging Equipment. 

Take into account your blog/business image, a consistent brand is key.

You may have noticed that Autumn Leaves is going through a bit of a re-brand as it enters a new niche for bloggers and creatives, but I've had to think long and hard about all of the areas I need to make consistent with design so that readers begin to recognise and remember it as a brand, not just the blog. I've said this many times, but whatever you put out there on your social media accounts is a reflection of you and your potential brand, so it needs to be kept professional whilst still showing personality if you're a blogger or small business. A brand name and logo create your identity and ideally they need to be based on your target 'customer' or reader - e.g. a lipstick in your logo would indicate you probably blog about beauty/makeup, a globe would probably mean that you blog about travel. 

While the above are the main three points that I took away, I'd be happy to break down any of them into more detail should you want to read about them. I personally found the course really useful and relatable, despite it being based on a start up business. It was easy to follow and had plenty of manageable but useful information that I can go on to use and share.
Over to you...
Have you ever taken a course to help you and your blog? Are there any of the points I mentioned above you'd like to know about in more detail? How do you 'market your blog/business'? Leave your answers in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: This course was sponsored by Trendimi. 

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

6 Free Printables for Bloggers and Small Business Owners

Do you need to write down your jobs list for the day? Or do you need a checklist for your posts? Well today's post is for you. Blog worksheets and printables are something I've always stored on my laptop, going through phases of using them. I've even made my own in the past, but although I've not used them in a while, I've recently found myself going back to them as there are so many amazing ones out there that definitely keep you heading in the right direction. For today's post I thought I'd share some of my must-haves, including some regular writers of them that you'll want to bookmark right after reading this post.
Free printables for bloggers
ByRegina - Regina is the Queen of blog-to-brand posts, with a whole heap of incredible worksheets and guides that will keep you returning regularly ready for the next one. I'm sure you're like me and will always forget to do at least one thing on each post so printing out this checklist will make sure you've got everything covered, as well as some things you might not have even thought of.

The Nectar Collective - Melyssa has a truly motivational blog with plenty of great tips and tricks, but I'm currently really loving this worksheet as Autumn Leaves goes through it's current re-brand. It makes you really think about what your manifesto is and how you want your blog or business to mean to others, preventing you from rushing into choosing a name that you'll regret later on or that won't accurately represent you or your content.

SkinnedCartree - Whether you're new to blogging or wanting to go through a re-brand, just like Autumn Leaves is, you'll want to print off and complete this printable. It encourages you to look at what others are doing well on their blog or social media, what aspects you like and can implement into your own design, content and social platforms without copying, what you can add or improve on and what makes you stand out. 

Val Marie Paper - It's always great to write down your goals and aspirations so you can keep track of how you're getting on, what you need to do to achieve them and of course, tick them off once completed so this resource makes you think about what you really want to do with your blog and life aspirations. 

Money Saving Mom - A simple breakdown sheet for your day.

The Well - Print multiple copies off and put together in a file to create your own free editorial calendar that us bloggers' are always banging on about!

You might also like to read...
15 Awesome Free Fonts for Bloggers and Creatives, Autumn Leaves
Five of the Best Free Blog Templates, Sweet Electric
30 Free Stock Photo Resources For Your Blog Posts, I Can Build a Blog
Dress Your Tech, Design Love Fest

Over to you...
Are there any useful printables you've come across? How do you like to stay organised and plan? Did you find any of the ones above particularly useful? Leave your answers in the comments below.
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Follow My Advertisers: Hope, Freedom, Love | Angerawrs | No.21

Monday, 16 February 2015

How to Improve Your Blog (Ideas and Areas to Work on)

I think we all want to improve our blog but sometimes we just don't know where to start. So I recently asked some of my favourite bloggers to help me out with another post and tell me what they want to tackle over the year(s). While we're all starting it off, we want you to leave your answers in the comments and use others' comments to help you find useful tips and resources!
Make a blog readers love

What do you want to improve on your blog or social media?
Are there any skills you wish to learn?
  1. The Lovecats Inc, Helen - I'm aiming to improve my photography more this year, as I think there's a lot I can be better at. I'm also working really hard on my content, bringing better posts to people with more variety so we'll see how we get on throughout the year! I also want to learn how to crack Facebook and Pinterest too, as I'm yet to figure them out properly. 
  2. Couture Girl, Kayleigh - I'd love to advance my photography skills, come up with more original and varied content as well as sticking to a set weekly schedule around my working life. I'd also love to learn a bit about HTML so I can tweak my blog design from time to time.
  3. Sweet Electric, Zoe - 100% photography. It doesnt come natural to me at all and its something I struggle with. I'd love to learn more about photography aspects and editing.
  4. Glambeautys, Liza - I would like to learn how to balance everything, I still need to try and sort out and stick to a schedule as I just post as and when which is ok in a way as it's less pressure but it's also added pressure sometimes because I feel I need to get something written because I haven't posted in xyz days if you know what I mean. 
  5. Thumbelina Lillie, Megan - I've always said that I want my blog to be a development of skills as well as a place to showcase things that I love. I'd really like to up my photography game as I'm enjoying doing so and I'd love to be able to take beautiful photos of all the exciting things I have got planned for this year! I wouldn't mind learning a bit more HTML coding too!
  6. London Beauty Queen, Hayley - Generally speaking my goal for 2015 is to grow - both in numbers and influence - while retaining my integrity and value as someone that isn't afraid to shake things up! 
  7. Em Talks, EmI would like to work with some fantastic photographers this year to make the outfit posts I do a lot better. I would also like to start working a lot harder on my YouTube to grow it as it is still very new and a baby in comparison to my blog. 
  8. Tattooed Tealady, Sophia - I've never been the most tech-savvy, so I'd love to improve on that overall - and finally work out how to use Pinterest! 
  9. And me - Photography, HTML, Social Media - I agree with all of the girls above. But I think the most important thing for me is to establish my blog in my new niche, as beauty isn't really for me as much anymore, so to do that I want to build relationships and friendships with those in my new niche and learn from others which I've already made a good start on. I've just enrolled on a course that will help my blog too, so I'll share my results of that down the line!
Over to you...
What do you want to improve on? Are there any skills you want to learn? Or are you happy with how things are? Leave your answer in the comments below. 

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Blogging Tips Worth Writing About

Blogging tips are my favourite posts to read and write, and while I'll always have beauty and lifestyle in my heart, it's definite that my lust for improvement and to build my blog as a brand is beginning to shine through. I recently asked some of my favourite bloggers to help me out with another post and tell me which blogging tips posts they actually find most useful. While we're all starting it off, we want you to leave your answers in the comments and use others' comments to help you find useful tips and resources!
Best free blogging tips for a successful blog

What type of "blogging tips" posts are you most likely to read?
  1. The Lovecats Inc, Helen - I don't actually read that many blogging tips, as I think a lot are aimed at being a 'successful' blogger based purely on follow numbers and it's not encouraging to new bloggers so actually ends up being quite negative. If I'm going to read any tips, they'll be on SEO, photography, productivity and more on the admin/behind the scenes side of things! I take everything with a pinch of salt though, as what works for one blogger may not work for the next.
  2. Couture Girl, Kayleigh - I like the really honest ones - almost a behind the scenes look into the life of a blogger. The struggles they face, the way they blog and how they fit blogging into an already busy lifestyle. Basically just any I can relate to as I'm a blogger who also works full time and know how hard it can be to juggle everything.
  3. Sweet Electric, Zoe - I prefer to read posts that focus on a specific aspect, rather than 'how to be a successful blogger' type posts. I love posts that focus on organisation, photography and social media.
  4. Glambeautys, Liza - I like to see posts about becoming a professional blogger and how to earn from your blog. I also like reading about how to get sponsored posts as I find this doesn't get written about lots so these are super helpful. 
  5. Thumbelina Lillie, Megan - As I'm not exactly a 'new' blogger I tend to stay away from the 'basic' and 'beginner' type of tip posts. But I love posts about photography, I think that's something that can continuously improve and there is so much to learn and I am very eager to do so!
  6. London Beauty Queen, Hayley - Anything that is a little different or can add value to your site, no matter your topic or hit counter. I love reflective posts, those which discuss a particular 'hot topic' and of course anything that can help improve efficiency! There's a definite trend for these type of posts, which makes it even more important to add a point of difference and real learnings to content. 
  7. Em Talks, Em - Ones written by extremely successful bloggers - ones who I aspire to be like or ones by SEO/blogging/social media experts.
  8. Tattooed Tealady, Sophia - I'm always curious when a new 'blogging tips' post pops up on my BlogLovin' feed, but it's the ones which steer away from the usual blogger tips I love the most. Posts which you can tell time and thought has gone into, with valid research to back up the tips included and the knowledge and passion of the writer shining through. Blogging tips posts which leave you inspired and with a renewed sense of love for blogging are always a winner, too! 
  9. And me - I read a lot of posts on blogging, social media, SEO and photography but like how there are so many different aspects to them. I find it really helpful when people share useful tools, blogs, resources and equipment that can help me with organisation or act as reminders to things I may have forgotten to do. I'm always looking for tips on how to move my blog on as I have been doing it for some time now, so things like social media marketing strategies, analysis of analytics and of course, suggestions of posts I could write are always helpful!
Over to you...
What "blogging tips" type posts do you like to read most? And which ones are you least interested in reading? What sort of posts do you most enjoy writing? Leave your answers in the comments below. 
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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ultimate Blogging Tips and Advice for all Bloggers

Blogging tips are everywhere nowadays and I quite regularly post them myself, but I try to make them that little bit different to the generic "do this, don't do that". It's become quite a thing now that it's possible that there are too many blogging tips around which make it overwhelming, especially to new bloggers. I know if I wanted to start a blog now, I would definitely feel that way. I recently asked some of my favourite bloggers to help me out with another post and share what they think the most important blogging tips are. While we're all starting it off, we want you to leave your answers in the comments and use others' comments to help you find useful tips and resources!
Ultimate blogging tips guide

What are your best blogging tips or advice for new and established bloggers?
  1. The Lovecats Inc, Helen - Definitely be active on social media and take part in chats if you can, even if you have 10 followers or 10k (you're never to 'big' to be friendly!). Respond to tweets and start a conversation with fellow bloggers, as it's great to be involved in the community as we're a helpful and nice bunch, really. Be consistent with your posts, as you'll build up return readers if you post (for example) twice a week rather than twice a month. A lot will tell you what's 'right' and 'wrong' in blog world, but don't take it all in as the same thing might not suit you! Be unique. 
  2. The Private Life of a Girl, Sophie - My best blogging tip is: remember why you started and what your goals are, never lose sight of them; always remind yourself of what you're trying to achieve and don't be swayed by trying to chase numbers or money or free stuff.
  3. Couture Girl, Kayleigh - My best tip for a new blogger is to engage. Whether its on Twitter / Instagram or commenting on other blogs - get your name out there and let people know you exist. Without doing this, how will anyone find your blog? For the more established bloggers - I'd advise producing varied content and being consistent - have a routine and stick to it so your readers know what to expect and when!
  4. Sweet Electric, Zoe I think any blogger should just do whatever makes them happy - there are a lot of resources out there to help with blogging but ultimately you have to do what works for you and your blog. 
  5. Glambeautys, Liza - Focus on what you enjoy, I particularly love photography so I always try and better my photography and I always get lots of compliments. Do what you love and people will see just how much effort you put in. 
  6. Thumbelina Lillie, Megan - I think throughout of your blogging experience you should always remain honest and true to yourself. Although it may take time to discover what you really love blogging about and you won't instantly find your writing style, however when you do, embrace it and make it your own. I always like to think that I'm creating a blog that I would like to read myself and I'm always challenging myself to try new things. I think interaction with your readers is crucial too, even replying to comments is an essential :)
  7. London Beauty Queen, Hayley - Patience. I can't tell you how many times I get asked how to get freebies or become a full time blogger. It's forgotten so often that bloggers battled away for years without any kind of recognition, let alone payment; patience and credibility is key as you want to build a brand that lasts. I would always suggest you treat your blog as a brand you want to develop, which will help guide everything from design and content to what you talk about on Facebook. 
  8. Em Talks, Em - Be yourself, it’s your space on the internet there really aren’t any rules. Go for it, don’t let anything hold you back. Try to shoot things in bulk, it will really help you when it comes to dealing with a big workload so for example, I like to do half a day of photography for about 5 blog posts. Never start to blog just for ‘freebies’ - they aren’t freebies, they are part of the job. If you blog to get free things you’re doing it all wrong from the start. I think the most important thing when it comes to blogging is to just be genuine, true to yourself and honest. People aren’t silly and will be able to see if you’re not genuine. If it’s your passion, keep doing it - whether you have an audience or not. There is room for us all and eventually your lovely audience will come.
  9. That Grace Girl, GraceMy biggest tip to new bloggers would be to have just one goal and focus in mind, ‘create content which YOU want to read’ - this is probably the biggest consistency I have maintained throughout my blog's lifespan. If you’re writing with this goal in mind you can never run out of inspiration, and it’s the best way to inject personality and originality into your content.
  10. Tattooed Tealady, Sophia - A cliche, but 'be yourself' - a personality that shines through is always a sure way to keep me reading.
  11. And me - Search specifically for the things you want/need to know as you face them, focus on organisational skills and don't care that your posts aren't perfect for the beginning. Even 4 years down the line (and numerous failed blogs/posts) I'm still learning and improving. Pick a couple of social media platforms to focus on, and if you need to share something negative - go about it in the right way with explanations, examples and suggestions as that is appreciated much more than really putting down something. Ultimately, put in as much work and effort as you want to and don't feel pressured into producing content that isn't for you.
Over to you...
What are your best blogging tips and advice? What do you wish you'd known before you started blogging? How do you find blogging tips? Leave your answers in the comments below.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

15 Awesome Free Fonts for Bloggers and Creatives

Looking for free fonts to spice up your design or images? Then you've come to the right place. Since I started my blog re-brand, I've spent countless hours searching for the right fonts - something that had never interested me before, but now takes up a lot of my spare time. For today's post I figured I'd compile a list of my favourites, as well as sharing my top places to find fonts to download. Whether you want to use them for an essay, a presentation or your blog, I'm sure you'll find one you love! 
Free fonts to download
Free downloads here...
Bebas Neue | Pea Jenny Script | Mathilde | Bright and Beautiful | Mission Script | Little Bird | Cheddar Jack | Lavanderia | Claudette aime le Chocolat | Jonny Quest Classic | Manus Trial | Odstemplik | Marmellata | Airbag | Cubano
Where to find awesome fonts...
My favourite places to find fonts are DaFont, LostTypeFont Squirrel and Pinterest.
Follow Autumn Leaves Blog's board Free Blog Design Tools on Pinterest.
Over to you...
Where do you find free fonts? Which of these fonts do you like best? Which do you like least? Leave your answers in the comments below!
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Follow My Advertisers: Hope, Freedom, Love | Angerawrs | No.21

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