Sunday, 29 March 2015

Blogging Tips: Promoting Your Blog On Social Media

Blogging and social media goes hand in hand, and although it might seem easy at first, there's actually a lot of things to consider. There's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat, Pinterest and more but if you're a blogger, you don't have to feel like you need to use every single one to begin with. Sign up to all the platforms you want to use and learn how to use it properly. Using social media is not only a great way to increase traffic to your blog, but it's also a nice way to ease in to the blogging community and connect to potential readers.

Social Media Is Constantly Changes

In the early days, social media was quite easy, simple and straight-forward. You type what you were up to, and had a giggle with your friends over last night's party photos - that was pretty much it. Now it seems like like the aim is to get more likes, shares, retweets, favourites, reblogs, repins.... IThe focus has definitely has shifted to how we can engage and get more people to see our 'content'? How do we work with the new algorithms? 

There's no denying that social media has changed a lot in the past 5 years and it's hard to keep up. It is now all centred around promoting, advertising, strategies, campaigns, measuring statistics, engagement, outreach, getting the most likes, favourite, retweets, shares, thumbs-ups, and attempts to go "viral". And that's totally fine, it's just the nature of the game - but all these aspects can sometimes suck the fun out of social media, it can feel like a chore. On the other hand, it can help us take advantage of what's out there; these amazing social media platforms can be used as part of a marketing tool, a way increase traffic to your blog, a forum to talk to people who share the interests as you and to get instant, direct, real-time results.

Learning how to use social media and each platform can help drive traffic to your site and reach out to the right people. Here are some of my beginners guide on how to use my to help you promote your blog. I have focussed on my favourite three which are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Beginners Guide to Social Media

General Advice:
Use the same profile pic throughout all social media channels. If you change it on Twitter, change it on all of them. It's just so that when people land on your profile(s), they're not confused.

Include your blog link on all of your bios.

Get a good balance of promoting your content, engaging with other people and sharing news.

Be consistent.

What works on one platform might not work on another. Learn what people want to see.

Respond to all questions and queries in a timely manner.

Create a separate blog/business Twitter account to your personal one. This will keep things cohesive and less-confusing for your readers and for yourself too!

Tweet links to your new post. I tweet links to my new blogpost up to three times a day (afternoon, rush hour and evening) Don't forget to use appropriate hashtags so that your tweets reaches out to more people.

Dig into your archive! Tweet links to your old content for your new followers or repurpose for existing ones.

Be social on social media! Always answer all questions that comes through to your @mentions.

Make use of the retweet button, share other people's content as well as your own. They will really appreciate it.

Twitter has become very visual, and tweets that includes an image gets twice the amount of engagement so tweet images to accompany your tweets.

Use a Twitter client like Hootsuite to schedule tweets throughout the day. This is most helpful when you're away for a few days and want to keep traffic to your blog ticking over.

Don't take it personally if someone unfollows you. It's the nature of the game. They're allowed to unfollow you and you're free to do the same. No dramas!

Don't send the same unsolicited tweets to multiple Twitter users. That's not how you use Twitter and it can be considered as spam.

Facebook are making things increasingly difficult for Page users. I've worked so hard to build a following but with the new algorithms, only 1% of my 11,000+ followers will see my content. I admit that I need a new ~strategy~ in order to make things work but here's what I've noticed...

The key is not to give up. There has been many times when I've just wanted to get rid of my Page because it feels like a waste of time and that I'm talking to a brick wall. But Facebook likes a consistent frequency of posts and when they detect that you're inactive, they will bring it upon themselves to push your content down (or keep it out of sight). Carry on posting on a regular basis and hope for the best things should pick up.

Facebook users love funny things, cute animals, inspirational quotes, and memes. Share these types of content in between promoting your own blog. 

Post on Facebook about 3 or 4 times a day if you can. Keep these fairly spaced out throughout the day though. 

Facebook favours posts that has a lot of interaction, these posts will be seen by more people. Add a call-to-action to the copy or a question to encourage followers to engage.

Make use of Facebook's schedule feature, you can plan your posts ahead and schedule them to go live at certain times.

Keep an eye on your wall for comments and questions. I don't know about you but notifications doesn't always pop up for new interaction (Facebook can be SO annoying!!!). I'm always apologising for replying late because I don't see a comment until days later.

Facebook users don't hold back, so be prepared for honest or harsh feedback. Don't be disheartened, it isn't personal. It's usually because they don't realise there's a real person behind the page or they simply don't think before they type. You can choose to respond or delete. It's your page, you get to manage it the way you want.

I LOVE Instagram, it's my favourite one! It's a great way to show your personality, share your interests, display your skills and generally feel inspired! 

Themed Instagram profiles do really well but I like the content to vary. Decide on whether you would like to stick to a theme or be quite random, but the quality of the image should be consistent. 

Talking of quality, it might take a while before you know which style of photography you want to go for. Don't worry too much to begin with, let your creativity flow and you'll soon figure out what works and what doesn't.

You can be spontaneous and/or you can pre-plan content. Keep a folder on your phone or computer of photos you want to share on Instagram. 

I tend to post about 3 to 5 times a day, but as long as you post in one hour interval, it shouldn't bug your followers too much.

To promote your blog on Instagram, post photos of your new blogpost, out-takes, exclusive content, sneak peak or a behind-the-scenes.

Use up to 11 hashtags to categorise the image which allows more people to see your content. Usually, I add a caption and then add another comment with appropriate hashtags to keep things looking tidy.

Tag the people or brands featured in your photo. There's a possibility that they'll regram (ie. share your photo with their followers which hopefully increases your own following)

Finally, HAVE FUN! I'm guilty of over-thinking it and I'm really conscious about not to annoy my followers - but just enjoy putting content out there! 

What are your favourite social media platforms? And do you have any tips to add?

Read my other blogging tips here.


Saturday, 28 March 2015

8 Fruity Cocktails To Try This Spring!

I'm not 100% what kind of fruits are in season but you can't possibly go wrong with strawberries, peach, blackberries and rhubarb, right?! Throw in another flavour to give it a twist whether it be elderflower, mint or even rose, and you've got yourself the delicious taste of Spring!

Making cocktails is a lot much fun, either alcoholic and non-alcoholic (although preferably alcoholic!), I just think it's nice to mix a bunch of flavours together. Sometimes I go overboard and end up blending something that comes out resembling dirty dish water (and tastes like it too...). To get a bit of practise in ahead of barbecue season, I have browsed Pinterest for gorgeous looking fruity cocktail recipes with flavours that are just perfect for when the Sun finally emerges!

grapefruit cocktail
Grapefruit, Ginger and Lemongrass Sake

strawberry cocktail
Strawberry Mint Bourbon Smash

watermelon cocktail recipe
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Cooler
Recipe By Tasty Yummies

blood orange cocktails, orange cocktails
Blood Orange Margarita Pitchers
Recipe by Recipe For Food

peach cocktails, white peach cooler
White Peach Cooler Cocktail

pink cocktail, summer cocktails
Charleston Pink Lady Cocktail

summer cocktails, raspberry rose fizz, raspberry cocktail
Raspberry Rose Fizz Cocktail
Recipe by Lark & Linen

strawberry cocktail, strawberry gin fizz
Strawberry Gin Fizz
Recipe by Dessert For Two

Which one are you looking forward to trying?

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Friday, 27 March 2015

5 Gorgeous Lipsticks Launching This S/S 15

lipstick launch spring 2015, new lipsticks spring 2015, burberry kisses lipstick

Who doesn't love this time of year? The brighter days, the warmer weather... and a whole load of new make-up to feast our eyes on! The colour palette for Spring and Summer suits my skintone more than the vampy shades of A/W, so as I spring-clean my wardrobe, I also like to refresh my vanity case too! 

Lipsticks are definitely one of the first cosmetic products I change throughout the season, as my outfits get lighter, so does my lipstick choice. I've spotted a few new lipsticks launching this Spring, five to be exact! Here's what to look out for next time you're at the beauty counters!

burberry kisses lipstick, new lipsticks for spring 2015
Burberry Kisses Lipstick, £25

Just the packaging design alone makes me swoon over this lipstick, it's almost too pretty to use! There are 28 shades in the Burberry Kisses Lipstick range to choose from, each with the signature tartan pattern branded all over. I particularly love the debossed tartan on the bullet, it's a nice touch. It's a classy little lipstick though, with a moisturising, sheer but build-able finish. Burberry Kisses launched yesterday, I believe! It is available to buy now!

Clarins Garden Escape Lip Balm, new lipsticks for spring 2015
Clarins Garden Escape Lip Balm, £18

I really like tinted lip balms that packs just the right amount of pigment. At the moment, I've been loving the Benefit Tinted Balms and I am wondering if the Clarins Garden Escape Lip Balms are just as good.  Available in just 6 glossy shades, all of which look PERFECT for Spring, the Garden Escape Lip Balms contain extracts of wild mango, shea butter and vitamin E to moisturises, plumps, hydrate and illuminates. I think my favourite shade is the Coral!

Lancome shine lover lipstick, Lancome shine lover lipsticks
Lancôme Shine Lover Vibrant Shine Lipstick

Recently, I have been impressed with Lancôme's lip products, I'm a huge fan of their Rouge In Love line because the formula is so moisturising. With these Shine Lover Lipsticks containing hyaluronic acid and rose de muscat oil, I have no doubt that these will be just as conditioning! Lancôme describes this range of having "an ease of a lip balm, the attitude of a lipstick". I don't think this is released yet, but keep your eyes peeled for it at the Lancôme beauty counter! Prices will be around the £22 mark.

clinique pop colour lipstick, clinique pop colour lipstick and primer
Clinique Pop Colour Lipstick + Primer, £16

I've seen blanket coverage of this in the past few days, and even though the Clinique Pop Colour Lipstick & Primer hasn't even launched yet, I am definitely falling for the hype already (that will be the powers of persuasion from my favourite beauty bloggers!). They look really rich in colour and provide a full coverage, but it's the built in primer that I'm intrigued by. I think this is unique to Clinique, but the built in primer is supposed to extend the wear of the lipstick for a whopping 8 hours! I'm skeptical, but we'll soon see what it is really like when it launches on 17th April.

urban decay sheer revolution lipstick
Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick, £15.50

I don't own anything from Urban Decay (not even the naked palettes - shocking!) but it's one of those brands that pops up on beauty blogs ALL THE TIME. With it being quite a fairly good price - or at least the cheapest out of this bunch - I think I'm going to bite the bullet and go for one of their Sheer Revolution Lipsticks. I quite like the look of shades Anarchy (fuchsia) or Rapture (rose). It will be my first Urban Decay product, so I hope it's not going to disappoint! They are described as sheer, buttery, smooth and creamy with a blend of jojoba, shea butter, olive and babassu oil (which I read as 'badass oil' at first), vitamin C and E. They're available now at Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Do any of these tempt you? Which beauty launch are you looking forward to this Spring?


Thursday, 26 March 2015

Soap&Glory Fragrance Mist // Spring Fragrances

soap&glory fragrance mist

One of my favourite beauty products of last year was Soap&Glory's Super Tonic Orangeasm Fragrance, so on a recent trip to Boots, I was pretty pleased to spot a couple of new fragrance mists added to their range. Initially, I was drawn to them because of Soap&Glory signature pink packaging, the design is simplistic but really pretty, it's totally perfect for the brand and all of their loyal fans (which I am one of!). So thumbs up for the packaging but how does the fragrance match up?

Unlike the Orangeasm which has a citrus note of green mandarin and cool mint with a slightly herbal kick to it, I would describe both Mist You Madly and Fruitigo as a scent that you'd typically associate with Soap&Glory. Neither of the scents are new to Soap&Glory though, die hard fans will already be familiar with it as some products are scented with Mist You Madly or Fruitigo.

Soap and glory mist you madly, soap and glory fragrance mist
Soap&Glory Mist You Madly™ Fragrance Mist*

Mist You Madly is a beautiful blend of freesia, cassis and sweet vanilla with a bit of fresh mandarin, bergamot oils, sandalwood, and spicy cardamom thrown in for good measure. I love anything with cassis in it so having that in is a winner for me! I can't detect the cardamom in it but I suspect that that's what gives this fragrance a bit of warmth to it. 

There are a few layers to Mist You Madly, it starts off with an instant hit of floral, with a dry down of powdery vanilla. If I could describe the colour pink as a scent, it would be very close to Mist You Madly. 

soap and glory fruitigo, soap and glory fragrance mist
Soap&Glory Fruitigo™ Fragrance Mist*

As the name suggests, Fruitigo is mouthwateringly fruity! Because of the colour of the bottle, I expected it to smell like berries at first but the yuzu fruit and the pomelo essence gives Fruitigo it's tartness,while the wild fig off-sets the zing with it's sweetness.

I would describe Fruitigo as fresh, juicy and sparkling whereas Mist You Madly is soft, floral and girly. I think my favourite out of the two is Fruitigo - I can't stop smelling it! It's such a nice fragrance for Spring!

The fragrance mists lasts about 2-3 hours and they're not overpowering so you spritz it whenever you feel like it. You can use it over a Soap&Glory body butter to boost the smell, or on it's own over your clothes, it makes a nice alternative to a body spray or eau de toilette. They retail at £10 and are available from Boots nationwide. It's a pretty big bottle (100ml) and has a shelf life of 24 months. They do tend do lasts for months even when you use it on a daily basis.

Here's an exclusive snippet of beauty news for you... There is another Soap&Glory fragrance launching next month which I am SO EXCITED to tell you about because I know you're all going to LOVE it! But that's all I can reveal at this point, I can't tell you anymore right now (even though I'm itching to!)... You'll have to keep your eyes peeled for it on my blog!

Read more of my Soap&Glory reviews here!

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