| Thank You for 1000 Views |

Ice Cream Party

I just wanted to put up a quick post in celebration of reaching 1000 views on Beauty & The Blouse. As a new blogger this is an exciting milestone for me as I put a lot of hard work into writing & perfecting my posts, taking beautiful photos & coming up with new ideas for blog posts that I think you will all enjoy.

I just want to thank all of my followers and my readers for taking the time to read what I have to say, to comment and to like my posts. You are all amazing & I’m so grateful for you all.

You're invited to an

 

 

| Tips for New Bloggers |

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Starting a blog isn’t easy. Blogging is a big industry with a lot of people in it & it just keeps growing. I had wanted to start a blog long before Beauty & The Blouse began but I always thought ‘why would anyone want to read what I have to say!?’ – Well it turns out that people do want to hear my views & opinions & starting a blog was one of the best decisions I ever made. 

I am quite the newbie when it comes to blogging, in fact I uploaded my first ever post only 6 months ago, so I certainly don’t claim to be an expert. However over this past 6 months I’ve learnt a few lessons that I wanted to share with anyone who is considering starting a blog of their own so that you can get your blog off to the best possible start.
Here are my 7 tips for new bloggers:  

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Social Media: The day that you set up your blog is also the day that you should set up your social media accounts because social media is the best way to get your blog out there & to grow your following. Social media is a way for you to engage with your audience & to get to know them as well as allowing them to get to know you better.
For me Instagram & Twitter have been most successful in growing my blog following so far but I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Pinterest as well. When creating your social media accounts it’s important to add a link to your blog in your bios to take them directly to your site & it’s also a good idea to post about your newest blog post as soon as it goes live – this will help drive traffic to your blog.
With all this being said, the reality is that not all of your social media followers will read or follow your blog & instead will engage with you on Twitter/Instagram. Getting these kinds of followers is also incredibly important as in today’s blogging world your blog following is only a portion of your reach & it is your social media following that makes up the rest of it. When company’s look for bloggers to collaborate with they also want to see your social media follower numbers & how engaged they are so don’t neglect these avenues or you’ll find it almost impossible to get your blog off the ground!

Set Yourself a Blog Schedule: When people hear the word schedule, they immediately think boring! But trust me, when you run a blog it’s important. I like new posts to go live on a Wednesday & Saturday but you can choose whichever days of the week suit you best. I always try to plan my posts at least 2 weeks ahead of time so that I can plan my photographs & also so that I’m not suddenly stuck for something to write about. If you know that you’re not going to be available on blog posting day (because bloggers do also have a life outside of the internet) you can also plan your posts ahead of time & schedule them to go live on a certain date & time. But also remember, sometimes things happen & life gets in the way so if you’re blog posts don’t go out on time – that’s okay too. The world won’t explode & your followers won’t magically disappear. Just try to stick to a schedule as best you can.

It’s Okay to Write Negative Reviews: For some reason (of which I just cannot understand) there are many bloggers out there who rave about every single product they have been sent & never have a negative to give. In the real world we know that this just doesn’t happen. As a beauty blogger I’m always trying products that don’t suit my skin type or that I just don’t like the texture or consistency of. When you’re a blogger it’s important to develop a sense of trust with your readers & followers – they want to hear honest reviews & opinions not something that has been dressed up to please the brand. I understand that some people don’t like negativity on their blog, but if you’re worried about writing a negative review because you’re scared of getting removed from a PR list, then don’t write about it or use constructive criticism e.g. ‘It may work for dry skin types but it just didn’t work for my oily skin.’ Ultimately I always believe that honesty is the best policy & that writing negative reviews is okay – as bloggers we don’t have to love everything that we’re sent & to me I’d prefer that my readers trust my opinion.

Take Photographs in Bulk: Those who aren’t bloggers themselves won’t know just how time consuming it is to take blog photos. It’s a terribly long process! It isn’t easy to set aside time to rearrange your entire bedroom, get into awkward positions to take good photos at good angles & then to be left with a heap of random objects & products to put away at the end. So if you have time to take lots of photos in one go, do it! It’ll save you trying to find time to take photos when time is limited & it also makes it easier to blast out your blog posts on one day & schedule them for the week or month ahead. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it.

Have a List of Go-To Blog Post Ideas: We’ve all heard of the term ‘writers-block’ & unfortunately as bloggers we too get hit with this from time to time. The best way to combat this is to have a list of blog post ideas in a notebook that you keep with you or like me, just use the notes in your phone. Whenever I have an idea for a blog post I always write it down otherwise it’s guaranteed that I’ll forget it. If you’ve tried this & you’re still really stuck for inspiration you can also find a lot of pins on Pinterest with lists for blog post ideas which can be a great help to get your creative juices flowing again.

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Sometimes people enter the blogging world with a expectation that within a couple of months they’ll be working with brands & being paid for posts. While I was lucky enough to work with my first brand only a couple of months into starting my blog, for most this just isn’t the case. It takes time to build a following as a blogger so in most cases your first year will be spent growing your following & building a relationship with these followers, not working with brands. My blog is still in it’s baby stages & I still have a small following 6 months later – it’s about being patient & being consistent before the rest will follow.

Be Yourself: In a world full of bloggers, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to be yourself because if you try to do what everyone else does then you’ll just get lost among the crowd. This is possibly the best advice that I can give to you. If you’re not being true to yourself & who you are then how can you be happy with your content? Or how can you possibly keep it up in the long term? Your readers want to get to know the real you so let them!

I really hope you find these tips helpful. Which one did you find most useful? 

| Blogger 12 Questions Tag |

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In the blogging community (whether you’re a blogger or a reader) most of us love a good tag so that we can get to know the bloggers we follow & learn a little more about their lives – whether that’s out of curiosity or in my case, nosiness. So you can imagine that I was a little excited when I was tagged by a lovely fellow blogger, Hayley from Hsaysblog (who’s blog you can find here), to do the 12 Questions Tag. 

In a nutshell the purpose of this tag is to answer 12 questions that I have been asked & afterwards I must ask 6 other fellow bloggers to answer questions that I myself have chosen for them. I’m all for helping my readers to discover other fantastic bloggers out there so I will be tagging the 6 ladies of my choice over on my Twitter which you can find here (Not that I’m promoting my Twitter or anything!)

So let’s get into it shall we:

Question 1| Who’s your idol and why?
I don’t really have an idol per-say. There are of course many people who I greatly admire e.g. successful female entrepreneurs such as Arianna Huffington or humanitarians such as Mother Teresa but I’ve just never really had an idol.

Question 2 | Do you have a fashion icon? If so who and why? 
My fashion icon is Olivia Palermo – She is so effortlessly chic, classy & elegant & I am yet to see her wear something I hate. She is one hell of a style icon & there have been many occasions when I’ve seen her outfit & felt true style envy.

Question 3|Whose your favourite musician?
I feel like I’m such a cliche in so many ways when I answer this question but it is undoubtedly Ed Sheeran. Since little ol’ Ed first showed up on the music scene I completely fell in love with his music & how honest & beautiful his writing style is. He is truly a talented musician!

Question 4 | What’s your favourite animal and why? 
The answer to this question for years was monkeys but since moving to South Africa I have learned that they can be really quite vicious & that they like to steal from you, so while I still think they are beautiful & intelligent creatures, they have in fact been bumped down my list of favourite animals & have now been replaced by DOGS. I have always loved little doggies but since moving away & no longer having a dog around for the first time in 13 years, I’ve realised just how much I miss having one. They are the most loyal, loving little animals & they have truly been sent from the gods. Do I sound like a crazy dog lady or what?!

Question 5 | What’s your favourite item of clothing?
My favourite item that I own is my little leopard print booties which you may have seen in my previous OOTD here . I got them from Dune last year & I have worn them to DEATH because they’re just my style in a shoe. They look amazing with dresses or with black jeans & they smarten up any outfit!

Question 6 | What’s your favourite TV show? 
My absolute fave will always be Sex & The City. But since I’ve watched the entire series more times than I can count, I now love to snuggle up with a good series on Netflix. My favourite shows from Netflix to date are Luther, Making a Murderer & Mad Men.

Question 7 | What inspires you to write your blog? 
For about 10 years I’ve read blogs & watched YouTubers because the beauty & fashion industry is something that I’ve always loved & that has always been a big part of my life. Starting a blog was something that I always wanted to do but that I never had the courage to start & a lot of that was to do with what people would think. But it’s true when people say that you hit a certain age & you stop caring what people think – The day I hit that stage of my life was the day I started my blog. I am so thankful that I took the leap because now I can share my passions with the world & I can meet wonderful people who love the same things – It really is a wonderful community.

Question 8 | What’s your favourite food? 
Can I really just choose one thing?! Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I LOVE food & I would eat all day from dusk to dawn if I could. If I HAVE to choose just one thing then I’ll go for Chinese food. I freakin’ love it & now that I’ve been made to think about it, I now want some. I will say however, that South Africans cannot make Chinese food like back home. They make great Asian food but their Chinese food sucks & the first thing I’ll be eating when I’m back home visiting is a Chinese takeaway as I’ve gone without a decent one for 10 whole months! Tragic, I know.

Question 9 | If you were stuck on an island and could only take on thing what item would you take and why? 
I’d take my partner as I feel like no matter how little I had on that island that I could make light & enjoy the situation with him by my side. So cheesy right?!

Question 10 | If you won the lottery what would you buy first?
I’d pay for my family to come out & visit South Africa. I know how much they all want to see this beautiful country & why I loved it so much that I decided to move here. So I’d like to treat them all, take them on safari & give them the holiday of a lifetime that they all deserve.

Question 11 | What’s your dream job and why?
My dream is to be a successful entrepreneur. To me there’s nothing like working for yourself & creating financial freedom for yourself while doing something that you love. Being able to have time freedom & financial freedom is what I want for my future.

Question 12 | Have you ever met a celebrity and who? 
I’ve met a few but never anyone very famous – I’ve met Jack O’Connell, the big guy from The Chase & Prince Charles waved at me from his car – yeah I know, cool right?

 

Now that’s my answers so my questions to the 6 lovely ladies I’m tagging are:

  1. If you had to eat any food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  2. What is your favourite quote to live by  & why?
  3. What is your favourite blog post to write & why?
  4. Are you happy with the direction your life is going?
  5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go & why?
  6. If you could travel back & time what advice would you give to your teenage self?
  7. What colour describes your personality & why?
  8. What is your favourite beauty product of all time?
  9. How has your 2017 been so far?
  10. If you could go back to being a kid, would you?
  11. What were your biggest fashion faux-pas?
  12. What is on your bucket list of things you want to do before you die?

 

I really hope you all enjoyed this tag & if you’d like to find out who answered my questions – I’ve tagged the 6 fellow bloggers I choose over on my Twitter!