My Most Productive Blogging Tip So Far

productive blog tips for bloggers

I tried to be a good wife. We’re on our honeymoon and we are supposed to unplug and enjoy the week. But seven days with no internet can be really tough. We only have free wifi in the lobby, and it is slooooooow. Slower than slow. So slow that I can’t even open my email on it.  Josh said something so simple, and it was brilliant: Just use Word/Notepad.

I’ve read this in other blogs before, but I’ve never really needed to use it (or so I thought). Even when I’ve used the notes app on my cell phone, I figured it accomplished the same thing. My blogging routine has always included typing directly into my WordPress editor and adding photos as I go. But this time, I had no internet, so a desktop publisher was my only option.  I tried it for an hour, I knocked out almost eight full posts. This never, ever happens to me when I have Internet access or a television nearby. It gave me the opportunity to focus on my writing while omitting the distractions that always suck me in on the web. 

See, I start writing a post. Then I check in on Twitter or Facebook. Then I create a link to a product on the post. Then I start to notice other products. Then I look for more music on Spotify. Thirty minutes later, I have four sentences written down. I’m working longer, not smarter.

Here’s what I did: I started writing blog prompts as large headings, then filled them in with my thoughts. When my mind wandered and I thought of a new idea, I buried that at the end of the page, and added my thoughts on the topic. (This part is definitely a mind-cluttered mess, but my A.D.D. always get the best of me.) Nevertheless, I got plenty of work done, and wasn’t distracted at all! In the future, I’ll turn the wifi off on my computer for an hour and just write.

Want more blog tips? Head over to my guide for better beauty blogging!

5 Ways I’m “Downsizing” My Blog

downsizing

In the beginning of the year, I thought about things that I could do to speed up my website and make it less clunky. I was scared to drop some of these things, but in the end, it’s not really that bad that they aren’t around. Here’s what I ditched.

I Dropped Disqus.

I really liked Disqus, because it was a formal content management system. But my blog was really, really slowing down, so I opted for the WordPress basic commenting system. In the end, it hasn’t really helped me generate or lose more comments then I was getting before.

I Stopped Posting Theme Days

Mondays won’t always be for FOTD’s and Friday’s won’t always be for fashion. I want to post what I want, when I want. I tried to stay on a schedule, but some days I was just getting bored. I want to live a little.

Super Simple Sidebar

I have my social media links, some subscription widgets, my blogher ads, and that’s basically it. I’ll be adding a few more items, because the sidebar really is precious real estate that I could be doing more with. But I really like how clean it is

More Call To Action

In the past, I didn’t really want to do the whole “please subscribe” thing on Youtube. But you know what? There’s nothing wrong with this. If you want something, ask for it. I’ve put the “subscribe to Youtube” button  and a Facebook widget on the side, and I have seen my stats go up significantly every since.

I Made the Blog About Me

In the eight years prior, I have constantly fought over making this blog more “lifestyle” oriented. But I thought it would be more exciting to make it a beauty journey and diary, also including pretty much whatever. I’ve done a few posts here and there. I’m not totally sure that I can keep it up, but we’ll see!

10 Really Amazing Things I Learned at the Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference

The Scene at IFB

This post is part of the “Erin’s Guide to Better Beauty Blogging” series. 

Well, it’s 10:43pm. I’ve been up since 3:30 am, and for some reason I just can’t sleep! My eyes are glazed over in exhaustion, but I had to give you the details because this is insomnia is kicking my ass while they were fresh! Be sure to join the IFB community online, it’s one of my favorite sites!

10. As I watched the Twitter chat from the Lucky FABB conference, I realized that it was mostly a guide to brand’s success. Not bad at all, but I was looking for insight on blogs. Not entirely sad that I missed it, but glad that I got to follow it.
9. You need to wear your outfit, don’t let the clothes wear you! I know many people were excited to be in a room full of fashion bloggers, but many were trying too hard to look different. This is one of my fashion pet peeves. Be the most outstanding you that you can be, not what you think others would swoon over.
8. Don’t over edit! @Latherblog says “Personally, I love style blogs that allow me to get to know a person…thoughts, quirks, flaws and all! That makes me come back.” She also says “Don’t get caught up editing your blog posts too much, the whole point is to be authentic. Let your thoughts flow.”
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Erin’s Blogging Tools: Things I Can’t Live Without While Blogging

When I’m about to blog, there are certain items that I can’t be without. I never really thought about it, until I found this post via Independent Fashion Bloggers yesterday. I thought it would be cool to add to the fun, so here’s my list!

Erin's Beauty Blogging Essentials

The Essentials:

1. Laptop
I started blogging on a desktop PC in 2005. Then, I bought my first MACBook in 2009. One cracked screen later, I purchased my newest MACbook in 2010. I use my old MACBook as a desktop, since it still has many programs that I need. I travel with my laptop [although I do so a lot less, now that I have an Ipad. Yes, I'm part of the Apple cult.]

1.5. Ipad

You definitely don’t need an Ipad to blog, and I don’t use it solely to blog. I hate lugging my laptop everywhere, especially when I travel. It can get heavy, and the Ipad is a quick fix to this. It’s sync’ed perfectly with my other tech stuff. Sometimes, I’ll blog on my laptop and prop my Ipad up to watch Sex and The City. Ya never know.

2. Cell
A smartphone is so good to have. I finally got an Iphone last month. I use it to get lightning fast pictures, great video, and crap loads of awesome apps. I tweet pictures of beauty products in stores that tell me it’s prohibited, and I re-blog all the good stuff that I read. It’s not pictured, because I’m using it to take this picture. (I used Instagram to take this shot, if you’re on it, I’m ErinScandalous.)

3. Camera
Perhaps my biggest purchase was my DSLR, the Canon T2I/550D.  I wanted more crisp video and images, thus my new baby. I still only know how to use 21% of the features, but they quality is really great. I’m no photographer, but I snap a helluva lot of pictures.

4. Beauty Products
I’m a beauty blogger. I’ll usually swatch and try on products to really get a shot at understanding them. I don’t want to lead people on, ya know?

5.Notebook
There’s no way around it for me. All the gadgets and I-things in the world don’t amount to good ol’ pen and paper. I’m a black pen enthusiast. Never any other color. Ever.

6. Natural Light
It’s so much easier to get post pictures of accurate colors on a sunny day. I sometimes get this beside a window, other times I take the pictures on my porch. I used a DIY lightbox and viewed tutorials on all kinds of other lighting tutorials, but God given sunshine is easier, more beautiful–and free.

Non-Essentials that always seem to be near by:

Record Player or other means of listening to amazing jazz, classical or old r&b music.
Candles Vanilla scented, always.
Iced Coffee It’s almost psychological, I think. I almost always have a yummy drink beside me when I work.

What’s in your Blogger Toolbox?

30 Topics and Ideas To Discuss on Your Beauty Blog

 

If you’ve ever felt uninspired or bored with your beauty blog, there’s still so much that you can write about! Here’s a quick list of 30 topics that your readers would love to hear about. Don’t forget, there are new people starting blogs everyday. Seriously, there are LOTS of beauty blogs. Be bold, be different, write the way you speak and think, keep us coming back for more! Your blog is your property, make it reflect you! If you are looking for examples, I’ve attached some of my blog posts to give more insight. For more blog tips, check out the ongoing Haute Blogger guide here.

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