Thursday, 14 March 2013

Things I Wish I Had Known

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As I mentioned, this week I'm having a slight change in terms of post content. I wanted to talk about some of the things I wish I had known way back when I first started blogging. I'm not professing to be an expert and these are only things I think are important - feel free to take on board or disregard at your leisure!


Photography
I'm no David Bailey, and I'm sure I never will be. There are some fab bloggers out there with fantastic photography, I particularly admire Becky at MilkBubbleTea and her style of photography, as its always s bright and white without losing the actually colour tone. But what I have learnt, is that you don't need a DSLR to achieve adequate photographs for your blog - yes I want one too, and I currently have a bridge but really it isn't necessary. (Later this week I will be doing a bit of a bibliography of posts and will direct you to some bloggers who can express this in better ways than me.)

What you do need is good lighting - this is the best photography tip anyone could ever give you! For product photography, a piece of white paper, in a well lit window sill, or any other background you choose, works well.

When it comes to editing photos, you don't need to pay for an expensive photoshop package (there's a free basic version online, but I find it confusing!) but Windows has its own basic editor when you open your pictures where you can change the exposure (how bright/light it is) as well as the colour tone - I tend to opt for a more soft yellow tone rather than the blue, and crop. I've found this has been fine for me so far, and has made a difference to my photos.

I like to make my pictures to the width of my blog. You can do this within the HTML (where it says width and a px number) or you can just size up in the blogger post screen. If you go through my archives you will see some of my earlier pictures are fiddly tiny little things in the middle of the page and you barely see what's in the picture. I could go back and change them, but I like to leave my old posts as they were when I did them. I think it demonstrates to me and anyone who reads them the progression I've made.


HTML
I had no idea about HTML when I began blogging - I didn't even think I needed to know anything about HTML and thought the basic blogger template would suffice. The basic blogger template will suffice - dependant on what you want to do, but if you want to host buttons and images in a side bar you'll need a little bit of HTML know-how.

The HTML to add a button ad to your side bar is:-

<a href="The Blog URL"> <img alt="" src="The Image Source URL" /></a>

 
(Sourced from Almost Delightful Blog)

You will need to delete the bold bits (and only the bold) and replace it with your own information such as blog url. The image source url is where you've uploaded it to, for example on photobucket.



Adding a clickable link to comments. This has got to be the best bit of HTML I have ever learnt as it stops your comments looking messy and allows people to click and find your blog without having to copy and paste.

<a herf="your blog URL"> your blog name</a>


Post Tips
Lots of bloggers use interesting phrases or lyrics as posts titles. This is fun but it doesn't really help people trying to find your blog. If you've done a post about "how to wear jeans" ideally you should name it that, as someone searching for this type of post, is going to type this phrase into google, whereas if you've named it after your favourite One Direction song, it won't direct searchers to your post.

Black text on a white background is generally the most readable. There's plenty of research on this topic (in fact I remember doing an experiment in relation to this at school!) so I'm not going to go on and on about this. Also ordinary basic fonts are also more readable than swirly fonts - use these in your header/side bars etc however! I personally tend to prefer justified text over the whole post being centred, but that's me personally and that's something I've discovered over time.


Gaining a Following
People won't just stumble on your blog - well some will but it will be very few. Get interacting with other bloggers on twitter - don't be afraid to tweet your fave bloggers no matter how big or small. There are twitter chats nearly every night - there's usually a specific topic and everyone uses a certain hashtag on the end of their tweets in order for everyone joining in to see. There are also Facebook groups/blog hops/swaps you can join in, to get more involved. Finally making the effort to comment in other people's blogs all adds to building a community and a following



Like I said, regard or disregard these points as you choose, but the only point I would say to take note of is, its your blog, essentially do what you want, be passionate and most importantly ENJOY!!

Don't forget, you can still enter my blog birthday giveaway
here!


 photo homeeee_zps214aed0e.jpg

8 comments:

  1. This was great, thank you! I'm fairly new to the blogging community and it's always great to learn new things! My blog is very personal to me and contains all the things that interest me, sort of an online diary I guess! :) Anyway, thanks again! :)

    http://lexiaa2202.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well to the community! I hope you found it useful :)

      Delete
  2. This was awesome : ) Thanks for the tips!

    CaraD17

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  3. this was such a useful post, great idea!

    B xxx

    Beauty and the B

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  4. A very helpful post, i shall definitely do it, Thanx!

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  5. Thanks so much for this post, the tips are great!! Fairly new to blogging so this has helped loads!!
    Ive had a go at the HTML tip, so fingers crossed its works

    JessicaLoves21

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  6. Great tips - very useful for new bloggers! xo

    Megan Jane // Seek My Scribbles

    ReplyDelete

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