Instagram needs normal pictures too

Just a normal picture of me. Like many other pictures I have of myself, that gets lost on my camera roll. Never to be seen again.

But I like this picture.

Why?

I don’t know.

I think cause it’s a normal picture of me. I don’t expect any compliments. I know there’s no Instagram filter. No crazy makeup.  Just a moment freezed in a busy lifetime.

Instagram needs normal pictures too.

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Beginner bloggers: 2 ways to make money

In the past week, some of you have asked me about mainly two things: What my thoughts were on Affiliate links (can you make real money with it) and what my thoughts were on Ko-fi (a link where your readers can buy you a ‘coffee’/donate $3.)

In this post I will tell you of 2 ways I know makes real money.

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Enter a caption

Back in 2014 and 2015, I use to add affiliate links to my blog.

After that year, I stopped with most affiliate links because I did not see growth. If something doesn’t work after a considerable amount of time, and I’ve done my best, I simply move on to the next.

Now in 2017 I only do affiliate links that work for me and might work for you too, because there is logic in the method.

Tips on selecting affiliate links:
1. Go the website that you shop at the most, most companies have affiliate programs on their website. Sign up.

Why use a store that you shop at? Because if you are the average person, you don’t buy overly expensive things on a daily basis.

Most affiliate links that people put up, is overly expensive and so people don’t click on the link because they can’t afford it.
And if they do go to the website, mostly they don’t buy anything which influences your sales.

2. If you are thinking about selling a specific item, choose items that cost less then what people pay for currently in other stores.

Example: I found a company that sells human hair for extremely cheap. First, I bought the hair to see if it’s good quality. Once I saw it was, I contacted the company, told them I have a blog and would like to advertise their hair on my blog with an affiliate link.

I had the hair on my blog for a while but took it off once my blog content changed more to fashion rather than beauty.

(I’m getting back into beauty soon, so I might contact a few companies again.)

3. What’s your demographics? Which country visits your blog the most? Check your stats. Once you know, you can choose affiliate links catering specifically to those people. Get affiliate links from stores in those countries.

4. What do you post about? Fashion? Parenthood? Writing? It’s important to know this because the people who follow you are attracted to that topic. Choose an affiliate link that sells something related to that topic.

If you blog about being vegan, but your affiliate links are for meat products, you won’t make any sales.

Some readers asked about Ko-Fi
Let me first explain what Ko-Fi is.

It’s a platform where creators can set up a free account and link back to their website for readers to buy you a ‘coffee’.

It’s not an actual coffee but rather a donation of $3 (the average price of a coffee ) or more (if they want to give more) In this way, your readers can support you.

How do they pay and how do you receive it?
They choose an option to pay via their bank card or PayPal and you put your bank details or PayPal into your account.

Ko-Fi will let you know when you’ve received the money and it will be available to you immediately. No threshold.

I set up my Ko-Fi account last week and have received some caffeine from some of you, THANK YOU. It’s an incredible feeling to receive a notification that someone actually clicked on the button, and decided to support my blog in that way.

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Screenshot of how it looks when you receive a ‘coffee’

 

If my posts have helped you consider buying me a ‘coffee’ click here.

Questions to the readers:
Do you use affiliate links? What’s the most difficult part for you when you think about affiliate links?

If you want to read more posts like these, I made a whole series of beginner blogger tips. Click here.

See you in the comments, happy living!

Chantal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to get sponsored blog posts (free media kit template )

If you are a beginner blogger, you probably don’t get many emails, if any at all, asking you to promote content. So in today’s post, I will tell you how to get sponsored blog posts. as a beginner blogger. I’ve also included free media kit templates.

Now that you know how to maintain your blog, the next step is getting a sponsored blog posts as a beginner blogger.

It takes preparation.

First, you’ll need something that is known as a media kit. What is a media kit? It’s a summary of your blog, mission, goals, and statistics.

  • A media kit includes:
    An introduction to yourself and a picture: This can be brief. Tell the company who you are and add a professional picture.
  • Your mission/goals for your blog: What do you want to achieve with your blog? What do you blog about? What is your niche? Is there any particular post that you do weekly to draw your audience to your blog?
  • Your audience: Who are they? How old are they? Male/ female? From where are they? You can obtain this information from WordPress stats or Google analytics.
  • Testimonials ( See this post on how to get testimonials)
  • Blog post rates (See this post on how to charge for blog posts)
  • Your statistics: What are your WordPress stats? What’s your unique visitors per month, page views per month, email list? This information you’ll find on your WordPress stats or Google analytics.
    What’s the analytics for your social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc?
  • NOTE: If you fear that your stats are a bit low on one of your accounts then don’t mention it. A media kit is a cv of your blog and you want to showcase your best self.
  • Contact info: Include your name, number, blog address, email and social media.

As a beginner blogger all of these points should be fairly easy to summarize, the only two that may discourage you is your statistics and testimonials.

If you are just starting out, your numbers will not be so impressive. Everyone starts from somewhere. Do not let this discourage you. Instead, you can show how fast your blog is growing, by including “I’ve had this blog for 3 months and my subscription has grown 400%  each moth.’ This shows that your blog has potential.

I have created a professional media kit template for you. You can change the colour. Download it and add your information to it.

Pink Blogger Media Kit

Download the pdf here. Pink Blogger Media Kit

Download word doc here.MEDIA KIT TEMP

Congrats, you have your media kit.

Now that you have completed your media kit, the fun begins.

There are magical places where bloggers and advertisers live happily ever after. It is called blogger affiliate programs.

You sign up to one of the services for free and upload your media kit.

These companies will ask you to select what type of brands you are interested in working with, what type of products you would like to review, how much you charge per blog post, etc.

Once you’ve created your profile, companies browse it and will let you know when they are interested.

In 2014 I was part of a blogger’s group from the UK and received my first sponsored post after a month. I waited until companies contacted me, but you can browse prospective companies you are interested in and send your media kit to them.

Here are some companies you can sign up to:

IZEA

TAPINFLUENCE

Comission Junction

Let me know how it goes!

PS: Do you find the beginner blogger tips helpful? If so, consider buying me a ‘coffee’ 🙂 All the money goes to creating content for the blog. Confused? Click here.

For more beginner blogger posts, click here.

Until tomorrow, happy living!
Chantal

MEET THE BLOGGER ABBEY ROBINSON

Two weeks ago I announced that I will be introducing a new blogger on my blog twice a week since many people I’ve came in contact with said they did not have a lot of WordPress friends.

Why not share the love you give on my blog with her blog? A like,comment and follow will bring many smiles 😀 Remember how you felt when someone did it to you? No? Then you should probably read this post if you want to promote your blog on my blog for free. 🙂

And a big thank you to Mr. Militant Negro who offered to then re-blog your post on his blog to even more viewers!

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I introduce to you Abbey Robinson

What’s your blog about?

My blog is about Lifestyle, Fashion, Beauty and Travel. I post blogs about the latest makeup trends, bucket list ideas and my experiences in different countries around the world, and more personal topics such as myself suffering from anxiety, and just trying to put the word out there about it and hopefully help people who go through the same thing. My blog is hopefully inspiring people in different aspects of life and I hope to extend my blog with other topics of discussion too in the future. 
 
  • Would you consider yourself 
I’m a beginner blogger. 
 
  • What is your vision for your blog?
I would love to grow an audience and form a community where we can all help each other with different things in life and allow us all to have someone to talk to. I just really want to inspire and help people throughout the process of doing what I love. 
 
  • If your wildest fantasy came true regarding your blog, what would it be?
I would love it to become well-known. 
 
  • What is your worst fear about blogging?
Putting myself out there and making myself vulnerable. I use my blog like its my own personal diary. 
 

WILD CARDS

  • If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
Eat, blog, exercise, hang out with people, travel. 
 
  • What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
Rude manners and eating with their mouth open. 
 
  • What skill would you like to master?
Juggling!
 

How to not write a basic blog post (Beginner blogger tips)

 The headline
Don’t be basic or boring. How do you do that? Make a headline that makes you want to click and read what the blog post says.

When I studied writing in Switzerland I was fortunate to be taught by Steven James himself. As a number best seller, he said that the title of your book should grab the attention of your prospective readers.If you have a basic title, not many people will click on it. You will be just another blogger trying to blog.

Well, that’s all good, but how do you go from basic to fantastic?

There are two ways:
The first way : Go to wordclouds  . It’s free. This website allows you to upload your post to it and then it will show you the words that have been used the most in a picture form. The words that have been used the most will be bigger. The bigger
the word is the more you have used it, the smaller the word is, the less you’ve used the word.
Here’s an example of my previous post. download (1)

Take the words that are the biggest and make a title of it.

The second way to write a great headline is to make it juicy.

How do you make it juicy?
Sum up the message of your post in one sentence. Now look and see what you are trying to tell the people.

With this blog post I’m trying to tell you how to write a great post. So I decided to make the heading ‘How to not write a basic blog post.
I could’ve said ‘How to write a great blog post’ but I would not get enough people to visit my blog with that title.
No one wants to be basic. And everyone wants to learn how to write a great blog post. I used an emotion to attract an audience with my headline.
Is this cheating? No. it’s getting people to read content that will be worth their while. Your post must deliver the promise that the headline makes.

Talking about that…
Do your  post deliver the promise your headline makes?

If you have a great headline and people click on it but the content is not good they will subconsciously remember that about your blog and put it in the category of ‘just another lame blogger.’

Psychologist says that people associate things with emotions. You want people to have positive emotions when the notification of your new blog post
ends up in their email. But if you trick people, they will associate you with ‘unreliable’ and perhaps even unsubscribe from your email list.

Start with the action
When you write a post, it’s tempting to start with  how your day was etc, but people who are looking for an answer go to the blog post so that they can get that answer straight away.

I’m so guilty of doing this in the past. Ever since I stopped I saw in my stats people are reading my post from beginning to end.
If you want to grab your readers attention, start with what you promised in the headline. Then address what you will be speaking about in the post so the reader knows to read along and that the answer is coming

Example: I’ll be using handbags as an example but use what subject you blog about.

Title: Instead of writing ‘My handbags‘ You write ‘Are handbags worth dying for?‘ This raises a question that many fashion lovers would read but also it would attract a wider audience.

The beginning of your post: Consider writing something like this:

‘I love handbags and people might think I’m shallow for owning 10 handbags, but I’m really not. In this blog post, I wrote what I love about my handbags and you might find yourself surprised at loving it too.’
In that introduction you have the attention of your fashion readers because:

1) It’s not another boring post just about handbags

2) You have their interest and make them wonder ‘what makes your handbags so different?’
3) They will read your post to the end because you said ‘you might find yourself surprised at loving handbags too.’ People want to discover new aspects of themselves. Take them there with your post.

4) You will still be writing about ‘Your handbags’ but in a way
that it doesn’t interest only yourself, but ultimately the readers too.

The body:

Here you go on to explain why you like your handbags. Use pictures that you’ve taken. people can go to the website if they want to see how the company presents the product, but they are checking your blog to see how it looks after a customer bought it.
Don’t write only about yourself. If you are not Beyonce and you are just starting off with a blog, people will not follow your life like they follow Beyonce’s. Unless you are dancing naked, with a new dancing routines every. Are you dancing naked? No? Okay. (If yes, I’m gonna have to write a whole new post for that one lover 😉 )

Write in a way that your audience also feels involved in the ‘conversation’ You might even throw a bit of knowledge in the post too. Just because you are a beginner blogger, doesn’t mean that you don’t know about any other subject.

The end:

People know that they can leave a comment but often they do not. So put your pride in your handbag, and ask your audience a question: For this handbag post you might want to ask something like ‘What’s your favorite type of handbag?’
The re-direct your audience to a previous post of yours. Don’t beg or be annoying. Simply say ‘If you want to know more about this subject, then click here.’ and link to one of your other posts relating to similar content.

Now, this is the end of this blog post. So you know how this is going to go, right?

I’m putting away my pride in my handbag, and simply ask that if you learned anything in this post that you would comment and let me know because it will help me in planning further posts.’
Also, if you liked this post, I’ve written a similar post here.

Happy living!

Chantal xx

(Congrats! You’ve read 1091 words, 5761 characters in about 4min 🙂

Not popular?How to promote your blog via social media.

I’ll assume that you know these social media platforms, not necessarily use it, but know of it: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Youtube.

These are all ways to promote your blog.

But you are not stupid, you know that already and perhaps have tried it too. But the people just don’t care. To some people, it is easy to promote their blog on social media because they are already ‘popular’ amongst friends and family or have friends and family who cares.

But to others, they don’t get the same attention so it will not be useful to say ‘share your blog on your social media.’

But not all hope is lost. In this post, I will be showing you ways to promote your blog on social media even if you are not popular or perhaps shy.

There is a website called medium. It’s a large community of people who like to read. You can post your blog post on there and it will show it to people who actually read blog posts on a daily basis.

This will expose your blog to an even bigger audience outside of WordPress.

Also, if you do not want your friends and family to know that you are blogging, this is a great way to go as apposed to Facebook etc where all your friends and family see your every move.

Use social media:
Everyone seems to be saying that you should sign up to as many social media as possible because that gives you a bigger audience. All of that is true.

But being on social media promoting your content continuously can suck your soul. The dangers with this is
* If you don’t get any response you will feel like a failure
*You spend your entire time promoting your content and forget about your real physical life outside of social media
* Contrast to popular belief, staring at your phone the entire day is not good for your eyes.

However, If you are comfortable with all of that, count it as a gift and use it to your advantage.

I, however, have tried to love social media and my phone but it occupies my mind and thus not paying attention to my physical life.

Choose the right type of social media for you.

So for people like me, choose one or two social media that you can handle. Preferably ones that you have the most following on.

On which social media do you have the most following on? Choose those ones.

Then set aside time to promote your blog.

For me, this is Facebook. I know when I post on Facebook, many people will come and check my blog out because my parents, siblings, childhood friends etc are on there.

It’s easier to get people who already know you to check out your blog oppose to strangers that first need to find interest in you. Those strangers do exist, so all hope is not lost.

When you promote your blog, make it interesting. Do not just post ‘Here’s my blog post, check it out’ I’m guilty of that, and people get bored by it when they have seen you post for the 5th time the same sentence, every day/week.

Instead, use an interesting picture. Preferably one you took, that will make people wonder ‘What is he/she up to?’

Also, words are very powerful. Use your words that will attract people to your post. Get their emotions involved.

Do not just post a link to your blog post. Make them see why it will be beneficial them to check your post out.

Try different apps to make your content a bit different from the rest of the people posting. 

(These apps are available on Andriod and Iphone)

If you use videos, try out the app alive. It’s the video editor Beyonce uses for her creative videos. It’s free. It makes your video come alive by giving you emotions that have motion, filters that are different from Instagram, songs, interesting text styles, and there’s a whole lot more on that app. It works on Android and iPhone.It’s easy and free, so why not check it out? (Not sponsored)

Other interesting video editor apps to check out; Hyperlapse & Squaready

To bring more attention to your pictures Snapseed is very effective. You can change the contrast, brightness etc on it. But so does Instagram right, so why Snapseed? Everyone is using the Instagram filters, Snapseed will make your pictures stand out, just because you are not using the same filters everyone else is using. it also gives you more options to play around.

If you are posting a beauty blogger or just want to improve your appearance on pictures and wonder what the top beauty bloggers use Youcam makeup is a good app. It smoothes out your skin, there are options to change your lip color, hair color etc. Whatever you are looking to enhance, it’s probably on the app. Just one thing, don’t overdo it. Don’t make your skin so smooth that you don’t look recognizable. Go for natural but enhanced.

If you are on Instagram you will notice that some of your pictures do not entirely fit into the screen. No crop is a photo editor that allows you to post the entire picture to your Instagram without cropping it. It also has filters, texts, and many more functions. Play around with it.

Get inspiration form the people you admire.

Go visit the social media of the people you admire. What do you like about their social media? Use that as inspiration and create your own.

If you want to read more about this topic, I’ve written more blog posts about it here.

I hope this helped some of you! Do you have any questions?

Until tomorrow.

Happy living!

Chantal xx

Beginner blogger tips: How I got 1000followers in 3months as a new blogger

From last week’s post on my series ‘Beginner blogger tips’ I gathered that there are two type of questions that you want to know; ‘I’m a new blogger how do I get people to come to my blog’ and ‘I’ve been blogging a while but how do I find the confidence in sharing my content with my friends and family?’

It’s two big questions, with a lot of tips I’ve learned over the years.

So, today instead of posting my initial post, which was ‘How to improve your blog content’ I’m posting what you actually asked for. (I’ll upload the other blog post on Friday)

But it’s a lot of information so  I’ll split it up in two sections. The question  ‘I’m a new blogger how do I get people to come to my blog’ will be this post.

And the question ‘I’ve been blogging a while but how do I find the confidence in sharing my content with my friends and family? Will be uploaded on Tuesday.

So, let’s get in to it.

I’m a new blogger how do I get people to come to my blog?

When I began blogging I really didn’t know that you can promote your content, or that it’s even important to do so. After a while, I saw that some blogs received more likes, comments and followers than my blog and I thought to myself ‘It’s probably because that other blog have been around for a while, I have to wait my chance.’

But 3 months later, I reached my first 1000 subscribers. As a three month old blogger at that time, I was very new to WordPress.

As a new blogger, to reach a thousand subscribers, in 3 months, should have been ‘impossible’ , but it happened to me. Thinking back about it now, I know how it happened.

Forget that you are a beginner blogger and have to wait your turn. It’s not about being new, this isn’t primary school where you have to go through the grades.  You can grow your blog, fast or slow, this depends mostly on yourself.

So if you are new, try this. This is what I’ve done.

  • Put aside 1hour of your day, if that’s too much,  take the amount of time you can afford. For me it was 1hour.

 

  • Go on top of the WordPress bar and select the ‘Reader button’reader full
  • Then click on searchsave as search crop

 

  • Search the topics that you are interested in. Here I’m using ‘horses’.horses crophorses fullNow a list will appear with all the blogs that have that content.
  • Go through them, and find the ones you genuinely like. How do you know if you genuinely like a blog? Did you read their complete post and liked it? Can you comment something meaningful? Were you tempted to read another post from their blog? If yes, you genuinely like the blog.

 

  • Now go ahead, subscribe, like and comment on the post.

 

  • Do this for all the blogs you genuinely like. Sometimes it’s only 1 blog, sometimes it’s 5 blogs. Just don’t go on a spree of following blogs left to right, because people often know that you are doing that, and then will not follow you back because you have nothing in common and don’t add value to their blog.  It’s about keeping up to date with the blogs you follow. You don’t always have to like and comment on their every post, but reading it is important. Because when you meet them on the blog-sphere again, you will have something to ‘speak’ about. You know what’s on their blog and they will appreciate it. Sounds overwhelming right? But if you genuinely like a blog, then it’s really not.

Secondly tag your blog post correctly.

Say you are writing a blog post about fashion, then the popular terms for fashion blog post are ‘ootd (outfit of the day) , fashion, fashion bloggers, skirt, dress etc’

How do you know the best tag for your blog post?

Find someone that does well on WordPress and blogs about what you blog about, go to the bottom of their page and see what they have tagged. Then use the tags they used, but of course it needs to correspond with what you wrote about.

Some other tips about tagging: Look at what you wrote about in your post. If you wrote about techniques of horse riding , then you will likely have your horse in the picture. And some tools. So your tags can be ‘horse riding, techniques, tool, how to’…. but then also tag ‘animals, love, friendship’ Even though you might not have written about love , animals and friendship’  that is also what your post can reflect to other people. So people who are interested in those things will discover your blog and follow because you are writing about something that they like.

The first picture on your blog or the featured image

I’ve learned this very quickly in the first 3 months of blogging; people will click on your blog because your picture took their interest.

If you do not use ‘feature image’ to put a feature image on your blog, then WordPress will use the first picture in your blog post to use as a feature image when people search for a certain topic that you have tagged. That’s a mouth full. Let’s cut it into pieces.

What is feature image?

It’s the image that you want to put on top of your blog post, almost like a header.

How do you use it?

Very easy just click on it, it will ask you to upload the your picture, and voila! 🙂

Where do you find it?

On the right hand side of your blog.feature

So, good ideas for pictures that I’ve seen work for me was clear pictures. Kind of cropped so that people can see me, at the first glance. When people search for topics, your picture is rather small, so let it stand out.

Still don’t get it? I’ll use some examples of my own posts.

For my blond wig review, and my grey wig review, I used these pictures as my first pictures.

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For my ootd post I used these pictures. You still want to stand out, but also show your entire outfit. Again, try to use clear pictures with not too much distraction in the background.

IMG_9970

Here the background is green and the clothes are in contrast to the background

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Shirt: Gift Leggings: Mr Price Leather jacket: Woolworths Shoes: Mr price

Since I’m a personal blogger, often times my pictures are about me. But you don’t have to use pictures of yourself. These tips you can apply to any type of picture.

Still stuck? Tell me in the comments down below with what type of pictures you deal with. And I’ll check it out and help you. Free of course.

Your title

Think of your title and picture as twins. They give the same message.

If your title is ‘my outfit of the day’ then don’t use a picture of a house. Use your best picture with that outfit. Rock it. Put your best foot forward. Grab attention. You can do it.

Titles are as important as a picture. Make sure they don’t get lost in the wordpress search. Write something that will spark curiosity.

Promote your blog on other blogs.

How do you do that? You can promote your blog here free on my blog. I did a post about it here. Or search for someone who does the same.

There is so much on this topic and I fear this post is getting to long, so if you want me to make a part 2 of this blog post, going even more in detail on the subjects mentioned here, then comment down below.

Did this post help you? Or do you have more questions? Would you like video on this content? (For those of you who do not like to read)

Until tomorrow,

Happy living!

Chantal x