Blogging is a such a wonderful thing, people gets all sorts of different things out of it. Whether it’s a hobby or a job its a great creative outlet and a really good way to share your passions and things you enjoy. Blogs come in many different formats, subjects and types, but the best thing about them, is the freedom to make them whatever you want them to be. But before we begin it’s always worth picking up a few blogging tips and tricks of the trade.

Blogging tips for starting a successful blogI get asked about blogging a lot. I’ve been writing this blog for over 5 and a half years and when I started out I had so many questions, most of which were answered by my bestie Fay, who’s been blogging since before blogging was even a thing! Now I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt along the way with you. Just a few simple blogging tips.

Blogging tips for starting a successful blogTodays post is all about the very first steps, the things that you need to do before you even start writing your first post. In some ways these are the boring bits, but getting it right on the first day will pay dividends as you start to grow your blog. There are lots of posts with blogging tips online, so this is just my personal advice.

  1. Think of a name: Have a think about a short snappy name for your blog. Something that reflects the content, or even your own name or nickname can work well. Try to make it memorable, but also something you really like, because you’ll be seeing it a lot.
  2. Check that the name isn’t taken: Google the name of your new blog and check that it’s not in use. Check social media to make sure that no one else has a page with the same name as your new blog. If they do its time to go back to the drawing board and think of something new.
  3. Set up an email address: It really helps to have any email address exclusively for your blog. This makes it easy to remember and keeps your blog related emails separate from your other ones. I actually spend more time on emails as a full-time blogger than I do on any other aspect of blogging.
  4. Find a site to host your blog: The most popular options are WordPress and Blogger. I personally started with WordPress.com and moved on to a self hosted site further down the line. Read up on the pros and cons of each before you decide.
  5. Set up social media: Set up social accounts with your blog name, even ones you don’t initially want to use. Try to have the same name across all of them. For example I use @vintage_frills for both Twitter and Instagram. It’s also a good idea to follow other people who inspire and interest you.
  6. Write your About Me page: One of the most looked at parts of your blog will be your About section. Write a brief summary about yourself and your blog and add a nice picture or two. Here’s my About Me page, its changed lots of times along the way, as the blog has evolved.
  7. Add your contact details: If you want people to be able to contact you, make sure your email address is visible on the blog.
  8. Add your social channels to your blog: Add your social links to your blog. You can just add logos or even widgets that display your social feeds. The best place for these is in your sidebar.
  9. Start Planning: Decide what topics you’d like to write about on your blog. Think about how often you want to post and whether you’d like to focus on writing, photographs or both. I like to write a list of all the posts I’d like to write and then work my way through them. I’ll explain more b about my planning process in my next blogging post.
  10. Publish your first post: After all the hard work setting up your blog, it feel great to finally get that first post written. Make sure you share it on all your social channels.

I hope these tips have been helpful. These are the absolute basics and I’d love to go into a bit more depth about the ins and outs of blogging. If there any particular topics you’d like to see covered, please comment or drop me a message and I’ll see what I can do. Look out for my next blogging tips post in the next few weeks.

Ways to follow Vintage Frills

Instagram – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Youtube – Bloglovin’

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This post comes from an extremely happy me. A few weeks ago nominations opened for the Cosmo Blog Awards, being a reasonably small blog I didn’t think I stood a chance of being shortlisted. So when I saw the list and the name of my blog in the Best Use of Photography section I was absolutely shocked and super happy (I may have cried a little).

I started blogging nearly 4 years ago, after being inspired to do so by my best friend Fay, who’s been blogging for years. I wanted a place to share all things I enjoy doing as well as my love of vintage fashion. I also wanted something to look back on as a record of everything I had done. As the blog has grown it’s become so important to me, it’s introduced me to great people, I’ve had some amazing opportunities and got so much better at writing and photography.

Cosmo Blog Awards

I just wanted to say a really big thank you to everyone who has read the blog, commented on my posts and especially thank you to everyone who nominated me. I means so much to me! I am so excited to go to the awards ceremony and meet everyone else who has been shortlisted and even if I don’t win, being shortlisted is recognition enough for me. There are so many other amazing blogs in my category after all.

I have one more favour to ask, if you do enjoy my blog and love my photos, taking 5 minutes to cast your vote would be absolutely amazing. Every single vote counts after all! If you would like to vote just follow the link below, you need to vote in each category so take a minute to look at the other fantastic bloggers in the other categories too.

Thank you!!!!

Click here to vote.

Internet free month

In August I decided to take a break from blogging, and the internet in general. I love being online, I’ve made great friends through blogging and social media and it’s something I spend a lot of time doing. However with the internet at our fingertips 24/7 it can also be distracting. I’m definitely guilty of spending too much time online. It’s so easy to keep up to date when you have an iPhone with you at all times and I find myself checking it a little too frequently.

While my older daughter was off school for the summer holiday I decided to take a step back from my blog and social media and focus that time on being an amazing mum and concentrating on the most important job in my life and the little people who matter most to me.

The first step was to start deleting apps from my phone. I deleted the WordPress app first, so no more checking my comments and stats several times a day. This was a great way of detaching myself from blogging. Then I deleted all my social media apps except Instagram. I kept Instagram because it is my favourite and I knew I wanted to keep updating it.

I only checked Facebook and Twitter every couple of days on my computer and as the time went on and I got out of the habit this became less and less. The only problem I encountered was not knowing what was going on with the world and with my friends. As I don’t really watch TV or read newspapers I missed a few big things that happened in the world and also friends having babies and getting new jobs. It makes you realise how out of touch we’ve become with the outside world!

My blog is a little bit like my third baby, it’s something I have worked hard on and nurtured and invested a lot of time and effort on. It wasn’t an easy decision to walk away from it for a bit. But looking back on the last few weeks I’m so glad I did. I was working on it most evenings and was feeling a little bored with it and was struggling to keep it fresh and inspired. I knew that come September I would have a few child free hours a day with Lila starting nursery and these would be my blogging hours. Now that time has come I am so ready to give it a fresh start and I’ve noted down so many ideas for posts over the last few weeks that I can’t wait to get going.Jess

Today is my first day of full-time blogging. My baby started school on her own for the first time yesterday and my big girl is settling into year four nicely. So I’m adding all my apps back to my phone, but I doubt I’ll be using them outside my allotted working hours and I’ll be spending more time living my life and feeling free.

To anyone who feels they spend too much time online, maybe give a month of minimal internet a go. You might just enjoy it!

 

Regular readers may have noticed my huge absence from blogging over the last few weeks. In my last post I mentioned that I wanted to cut down my blogging schedule for a few months to have a bit more time for myself and my family. I still planned to post 2-3 times a week though.

About 5 minutes after writing that post, Lila knocked over my coffee table which had a glass of water on it and it went into the back of my Macbook. Needless to say I was really upset, my Macbook was a gift from my husband to support my blog and was the most expensive thing I own. I don’t really treat myself much and don’t ever buy expensive things. My laptop was really precious to me as it had so many photos, ideas for blog posts and precious things on it and I was so sad to see it damaged. After a lot of tears and panic I obviously had to let it go and not be cross at Lila as it was only an accident and she would never have deliberately damaged it.

I then had to look into getting it fixed. It switched itself off as soon as the water went into it, I didn’t attempt to turn it on as I know this can make any damage much worse so I unplugged it and left it. Anyone who owns an Apple product which has broken will know how hard it is to get an appointment at an Apple store to get it looked at. There were no appointments in any of the London shops or the Kingston branch which is quite close to me. In the end I found one spot at the Bromley store which was about 6 days after the accident. I also looked into my home insurance to see if the laptop was covered which it was.

When the day of my appointment came I left a whole hour and a half before my appointment to allow for traffic even through it should only take about 40 minutes to get to Bromley from my house. An hour and a half later I was still stuck in traffic just outside Bromley and managed to miss my appointment. By now I was more than a little stressed. Luckily despite my appointment being cancelled they managed to squeeze me in and I was told that there was water damage to the logic board and another cable and the repair would be around £400, which I really couldn’t afford. So now I’m going down the insurance route which will take a few weeks.

As a blogger not having any computer for this long is going to be a nightmare. My dad has kindly leant me his Macbook Air so I can get a bit done, but all my photos from my trip to Cornwall are on my broken laptop so I’m keeping everything crossed that they are still there once my Macbook is fixed. All the photos for the posts I planned are all on there too, so I have to rethink a bit and get some new posts planned.

In some ways I’ve been glad of a little extra time off to catch up on housework and even relax a little. Maybe it was a little sign to slow down a bit and have a little think about where I want to take the blog in the future, but I’m definitely ready to get going again. I have some really exciting projects in the pipeline for later in the year and can’t wait to get to work on them too.

Thank you for bearing with me through this very wordy post and over the next few weeks while I get everything sorted, fingers crossed everything will be back to normal soon!

I’m back from a little break from blogging and a little holiday with my friends. It’s been a whole week without posting which is the longest I think I’ve gone since I started blogging and it’s been so good for me.

Writing and keeping up a blog is a huge commitment and takes a lot of hard work, and I had got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I used to. Before I went away I had planned to schedule posts for the days I was on holiday and resume normal activity when I got back. But in the end I decided to just take the time off and not check my emails, write any posts and just have a holiday from the internet for a week.

I’m so glad I made the right choice and just concentrated on having a great time, taking lot’s of pictures and relaxing. I had lot’s of time to think about things and how much time I commit to writing the blog and keeping up to date with emails and attending events and editing photos and all the things that go with it.

Being a full time mum and full time blogger at the same time leaves very little time for other things. I don’t really watch tv, or relax in the evenings and use that time to get things done. I love writing the blog but I was getting really tired and struggling to fit everything in.

Lila will be starting afternoon nursery in September which will give me a few hours every afternoon to work on the blog, so I’ve decided to take a bit of a step back from blogging until them. I’ll still be posting 2-3 times a week instead of the usual 5, so I’m not going completely, just prioritising my time differently and I’m so glad I made this choice as it’s the best thing for me and my family.

In the meantime I have nearly 2000 holiday photos to sort through! Yes I took that many pictures in 5 days. And I also filmed absolutely loads while I was there so I’m going to try and get some editing time in this week too, so expect some holiday pictures and a vlog shortly!