Blogging Tips For Bloggers #2

Blogging Tips For Bloggers

My first blogging tips blog post received a lot of great feedback & to this day I still receive the odd tweet or email thanking me for writing that blog post.  You can take a look at my ‘Blogging Tips For Beginner Bloggers #1’ post for some inside info on social media, blogging platforms, photography tips etc.  A few people said that the tips were not just for beginner bloggers, but that they are actually relevant to all bloggers out there.  I’ve thought about it & decided to start calling the series ‘Blogging Tips For Bloggers’ as I’m sure any blogger might discover something new by reading these blog posts (even if it is just one teensy little tip or trick).

This blog post is a bit of a mix between blogging tips, and my own personal thoughts around certain topics in the blogosphere.  I’m not trying to tell you what to do when it comes to your blog.  If you have done something differently to how I’ve done it in the past, and you found it worked for you – good for you.  This is just me, sharing my knowledge in my little corner of the world wide web.  At the end of the day, I’m writing this blog post to inspire, help and in a way support my fellow bloggers.

♥  Anyone can create a blog about any topic, but the secret lies in convincing your readers to return to your blog every day or every other day.  I personally prefer reading blog posts that mean something – puff pieces are exactly that, a load of nonsense.  I’m by no means saying I’m an investigative journalist who writes about global warming and nuclear power plants but I do like to write blog posts that my readers will find meaningful.  That’s why I like to include tips & tricks in the blog posts, and I am ALWAYS open and honest with regards to product reviews.  You won’t find me writing rave reviews about every single product I test, because life just doesn’t work that way.  We can’t love everything, all the time.

♥  If you want to start a blog for the sole purpose of receiving free products, don’t bother.  Free products may be considered as a perk of the ‘job’ and it’s great to have the opportunity to try new things BUT for me, being a blogger isn’t about the free stuff.  I like to share my opinions & experiences using beauty products with my blog readers, and that’s why I started my blog in the first place.  I never expected to have brands contact me & ask if I would like to be added to their media list.  It was a welcomed surprise, but it’s definitely not the be all & end all of everything in my blogging world.  I’m very happy spending my money on products & brands I love.  Some bloggers seem to think that PRs and brands have an endless supply of products to send their way and this simply isn’t true.  There’s no magical sample closet, so try to think about the whole process from a PR’s point of view.  It’s quite obvious when a blogger only blogs to receive free product – be careful, because you might just lose the respect and support of your loyal readers.

♥  I often get emails from aspiring bloggers asking how to become a successful blogger.  To be quite honest, I dislike the term ‘successful blogger’, because it’s usually linked to the idea of “I hit x amount of followers recently, so I must be a popular blogger now.”  That’s not how I see it at all.  I know in some ways numbers do equal success (or influence) but it’s not the only thing to focus on.  I’ve recently come to realise that numbers mean less and less to me.  Sure, it’s nice to hit a milestone and I will always be grateful…but to me, content and improving my photography skills will always mean more to me than a number on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.  That’s why I never really tweet or post about a milestone or certain amount of followers I have reached on my social media platforms.

♥  Growing a readership takes time, and it’s getting harder & harder to be heard in between all the other information that is published online every day.  Even if your content and photos are fit for a magazine, the chances are high that initially your blog posts won’t even be seen by that many readers.   You need to build and grow your audience, you need to show consistency and endurance so that you can build trust.  All this takes time.  Don’t expect huge success within weeks, or even months.  When I first started blogging, the ONLY person who read my blog was my momma (and Neal occasionally) but I kept at it, because I knew that if I worked hard & persevered, my blog posts would be seen by more & more people each day.

♥  I find a good brainstorm session to be both relaxing & inspiring.  I usually make myself a cup of tea (maybe add a Digestive biscuit or two to the mix), sit down with a notepad & jot down possible blog post ideas.  I have a noodle brain when it comes to remembering things, so I make sure I always write down photo ideas or blog post title ideas as soon as they pop into my head.  Most of the time I come up with my best ideas when I’m in the shower or right before I go to sleep at night, so make sure you have a notepad handy at all times (not in the shower, though, it could get messy).

♥  So you started your blog for yourself, there’s absolutely nothing wrong that.  But if you want a targeted audience, you need to consider what your readers are interested in.  Most people will only click to read the blog post they think might be relevant to their lives.  In a world that is over saturated with similar content, it’s always best to create blog posts that you know your readers enjoy to read.  This is where the Google Analytics app comes in.  Google Analytics for iPhone (there’s an Android version too) lets users check in on their website analytics, including real-time visitor reports (it actually tells you how many users are reading your blog RIGHT NOW, plus where they’re from etc).  In addition to real-time and time-based reports, the app can be used to view behaviours, conversions and more.  I hardly ever check my Google Analytics on the web anymore (unless I have to send a screen shot of my GA stats to a brand or PR), now I can do it from the comfort of my own smartphone.  Check your stats on a daily basis & try to see what types of blog posts receive the most views.  Then keep that in mind for the next time you want to write a blog post.

♥  Keep things interesting – try various props and backgrounds for your photos.  I think the easiest non-boring backgrounds are probably scrapbooking paper or wallpaper samples.  The former is a bit easier to get your hands on, though.  Pop in to your local stationery shop (CNA have amazing scrapbooking goodies these days) and buy 3 or 4 scrapbook papers with various designs.  I like changing out the props that I use in my photos, and I’ve been really into flowers & greenery lately (I’m sure you’ve noticed too).  Snapping some bath products?  Use a nice towel, candle or even water droplets as props.

♥  Avoid self-pressure, because it contributes to blogger burnout.  You know that feeling when you just can’t be bothered to write a new blog post or take photos for an upcoming blog post?  That’s called ‘blogger burnout’.  Yes, it’s real and it can mess with your mind if you don’t nip it in the bud ASAP.  Here’s what I do when I struggle to take that perfect photo or when the words won’t flow – I get up & go for a walk.  Get out & go shopping (even if it’s window shopping).  Don’t pressure yourself to create something creative, when the inspiration just isn’t there.  Because that’s when the mind starts to wander & you may start thinking worst case scenario…like quitting blogging all together.  If you need to take a break for a week, then take that break.  It will only do you good.

♥  Make sure you stay true to yourself.  If you enjoy reading, take a couple of photos with some of your favourite books in the background.  If you love a good cup of coffee, add your favourite mug as a prop in your photographs.  I love Yankee Candles, and have used some of my favourite jars as props in the past.  I love flowers & sometimes like to feature peonies (or other blooms) in the background of my photos to tie in with my blog name.

♥  Some bloggers avoid posting a review of a product, if a lot of other bloggers will be reviewing that same product.  I’ve had a similar thought process in the past but then sat down to really think about it.  Remember, your review will be read over a period of time (weeks, months and years), plus not all of your readers will see the other reviews from the other bloggers.  And some of your loyal readers may just be interested in reading YOUR review.

♥  Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.  We’re  all guilty of doing it at some time or another, I know I’m a huge culprit in doing this.  In the beginning (back in 2013) I used to compare myself as a beginner blogger to other bloggers who had already been blogging for 2+ years.  Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle, because you’ll always feel inadequate.  There’s a reason why they say: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”  Rather compare yourself to the blogger you were yesterday, think about the things you can improve on & focus on that.  You don’t have control over the actions of other people i.e. why a brand decided to collaborate with a certain blogger, or why a blogger has more followers than you, or why readers decide to comment on a fellow bloggers blog post but not on yours.  Focus on the things you can change to enhance your skills & make you better than the writer or photographer you were yesterday.  The race is long, and in the end it’s only with yourself (which song is that from?  You win a virtual hug & cupcake if your guess is correct – no Googling!).

♥  We all have a place in the sun, and that goes for the internet too.  Yes, the market is overloaded with beauty blogs now.  But there really is enough space for everyone.  The internet is huge and literally billions of people enjoy reading blogs, so there will always be enough readers for everyone.  Just because someone reads a certain blog, doesn’t mean they can’t read another blog too.  You are not losing a follower / reader because that person enjoys reading content from other bloggers as well.

♥  There is a misconception that PR samples and attending blog events will lead to making money from blogging.  Yep, these are great perks for something you already love to do but blogging full-time generally can’t sustain a full income, especially in South Africa.  Sponsored content opportunities are never guaranteed (they are also few & far between), and you have to work really hard to get to a level where brands are willing to pay for your time.  In South Africa, I think brands are slowly warming up to the idea that bloggers actually do have an influence, and actually can drive product sales.  In my blog media kit I start my readership statistics section off with: “My readers are YOUR consumers.”  I probably shouldn’t have told you that, because now it won’t be my special slogan any longer…  Anyway, brands and PRs are slowly but surely seeing that bloggers (with organic influence) can increase their product sales.  I’m not saying blogging can’t be a full-time job but it definitely is tougher than it seems!

♥  While we’re on that subject…media kits.  I don’t think a media kit is necessary if you’re a beginner blogger, it takes a lot of time to create & you might not use it in the near future.  However, if you’ve been approached by a good amount of brands to do sponsorships and campaigns, having a polished & professional media kit it always nice to have on hand.  As mentioned, it does take a bit of time investment to put a great-looking media kit together, but once it’s done, you’ll have it for the rest of your blogging life (all you’ll need to do is update your stats info & rate card every now and again).  A media kit is also sometimes referred to as a press kit, it consists of promotional materials about you, your blog and your brand.  It usually contains a headshot photo of yourself, a short bio, your blog stats, your rate card (how much you charge for sponsored blog posts etc), social media presence, media features, awards & testimonials, and a list of campaigns & sponsorships you’ve worked on.  I created my media kit a couple of months ago, I sat down one Saturday, created it from scratch and worked on it until I was happy with the end-result.  If you’re stuck for creative ideas, take a look at my inspiration board here.

♥  Accept that not every post is going to be your best content to date.  For a good couple of months, I was constantly working towards improving my writing skills and photography skills on a daily basis.  It was exhausting to say the least, and left me feeling anxious and drained.  Be kind to yourself, this is your blogging JOURNEY.  Relax & enjoy it!

♥  As mentioned in my previous blog post, a good photo it all about lighting – natural lighting to be exact.  Pull a little table over to the biggest window you have, arrange your products there, and I promise your pictures will look much better.  Play around with how you light the products too – is the light coming from the side. from behind, or from above?  Generally lighting the products from above works best, but I find having a photo lit from behind with natural light can look very beautiful too.  Try to balance the light sources as much as possible, if you have a lot of light coming from the left, try to balance it out by adding artificial light on the right.  If you can’t use substitute artificial lighting, then move your products around or take the photo from another angle.

♥  Don’t make the same mistake I did.  Up until about a year ago I used to spend hours every month deleting a never-ending stream of spam comments.  I then did a little bit of research and came across a powerful anti-spam plugin called Akismet.  It does all the work for you, and stops spam comments and trackbacks ensuring your blog comments section always looks clean & reader-friendly.  Akismet monitors millions of blogs and forums, watching the methods and tricks used by spammers in real time.  They know all about spambots, comment factories, buffer sites and social engineering tricks.  You can read more about Akismet here (I’m not sure if it’s still a free plugin, but when I downloaded it last year it was free).

My last thought for this blog post:  We all have enough external pressures in our daily lives, so make sure to cut yourself some slack!

If you have any blogging- or vlogging-related questions or topics you would like me to cover in my next ‘Blogging Tips’ blog post, leave a comment below.  I’d be happy to look into answering those questions for you.



  1. Missy 4 June 2015 / 13:34


    awesome tips…….

    The lyrics are from Baz Luhrmann Everybody’s Free :-)

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:00

      Thanks, Missy. :) And you are correct! Sending a virtual cupcake and hug your way! 😉

  2. Candice 4 June 2015 / 13:53

    This post is spot on!! I have only had my blog for just over a year and found that comparing myself to others who has blogged for years is a no no I love what I do and how I write and that’s all that matters numbers really doesn’t mean anything people are always going on about social media stats but I believe that is not what it’s all about.. Thanks Luzanne!


    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:01

      Thank you for taking the time to read the blog post, Candice. :)

  3. Liza 4 June 2015 / 14:07

    Thanks so much for these tips…I can’t tell you how much my bad photography has kept me from posting….really to the point where I did consider quitting blogging as a whole.
    But I have just invested in my blog and my own domain so no quitting for me.
    Like the typical Cliché goes “Never a Mistake – Always a Lesson”

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:02

      That’s the spirit! Just load those blog posts and learn from the things you didn’t like about your photos. That’s part of the fun – challenging yourself to be better, and being more creative too! :)

  4. Chereen 4 June 2015 / 14:10

    Love this! Some great tips… I couldn’t have said it better if I tried :) Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Luzanne! Sending love xxx

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:02

      Thanks for popping onto the blog, Chereen! Always nice to see a comment from you. xox

  5. Leigh Geary 4 June 2015 / 14:11

    Thank you so so much for this. Every single point was exactly what I needed to hear! Love your blog :)

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:03

      Thanks so much, Leigh! 😉

  6. Samantha Joubert 4 June 2015 / 14:29

    Thank you so much! These posts always seem to come when I need them!

    Your last post really kicked me in the butt and got me back on track with my blog.
    This one has come after 2 weeks of not posting as I was feeling poor and uninspired as I couldn’t buy any products to review. This weekend was a huge inspiration for me and I want to do so many things but dont know where to start.

    So that you! I will be starting my media pack as I have an expo coming up next month and it is going to be (hopefully) a huge opportunity for me to get my blog out there!

    Your blog is the first blog I have ever followed, I love it. I studied mack up and I’m a sucker for new products haha but my passion is my cat. so (months after starting my own blog) I have finally joined a blogging community called blogpaws for pet bloggers. I have also started following a few cat blogs. its very good for inspiration.

    Thank you again!! keep sharing haha

    I agree you need to stop comparing yourself to other blogs and the number of followers, I need to stick by that. I believe its about the people who come back and are true followers.

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:07

      You are so welcome, Samantha. I’m so happy to hear this blog post meant something to you & helped you in some way. That’s exactly why I write these posts. :)

      You should definitely do what makes you happy, and write about the things that inspire you. My aunt and I were talking about pet blogging just the other day, she said I should start a blog for my little doggies. Almost write the blog posts like they are writing it – haha! I wish I had the time to start a second blog…

      Good luck with the expo next month, I’ll be thinking of you. :)

      It’s not always that easy to not compare yourself to other bloggers around you, but I try to stop myself from doing it as soon as I catch myself starting to think along those lines…

  7. Safyah 4 June 2015 / 16:01

    How do you let your personality shine through in videos and not just seem like another beauty blogger ?

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:09

      Thank you for the great compliment, Safyah! I actually had no idea my personality was shining through in my videos, I always thought I sounded like all the other beauty bloggers out there. It’s so nice to hear other people actually appreciate my personality in my videos.

      I’ll definitely add this question to my list of topics to discuss in the next blog post. :)

  8. Wilma 4 June 2015 / 16:08

    Do you use natural or artificial light for your YouTube videos? And how do you get them to look so crisp and clear?

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post, thank you for sharing Luzanne.

    Wilma xxx

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:09

      Great question, Wilma! I’ll discuss that a bit more in my next blog post. :)

  9. Veronique 4 June 2015 / 16:12

    Do you schedule your tweets and Facebook posts using a social media publisher? If not, why not? I’ve always wondered about a social media management app or website, is it worth signing up?

    Great post, as always! So honest and genuine. :)

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:10

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a question for the next blog post, Veronique. :) I’ll definitely make a point of answering your question in the next post. 😉

  10. Rebecca S 4 June 2015 / 16:13

    Everybody’s Freeeeeeee by Baz Luhrman. I’ll take the virtual cupcake and hug now, thank you. 😉

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:11

      Here you go, Rebecca… *hands over cupcake & gives a big hug*

  11. Talitha ❤ 4 June 2015 / 16:19

    Maybe a bit unrelated, but please tell me you’re going to start vlogging soon!? I know you wanted to take a break from the whole Youtubing thing, but I am missing your videos like crazy!!!! The other SA vloggers just don’t cut it for me… :(

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:13

      Haha! Thank you for your sweet words, Talitha. :) Vlogging has been on my mind for the past week or so, I have days when I feel inspired to film (and even edit) and then something stops me. Give me a bit more time, hopefully I’ll be back on YouTube soon! :)

      Thank you for motivating me to get back in the saddle, I really appreciate it. xx

  12. Holly Morello 4 June 2015 / 16:37

    Do you feel a Facebook blog page, Twitter account, Instagram profile, Pinterest page, and Snapchat account is all needed for a blogger to get the word of their blog posts out there? I think it’s way too much to handle, constantly updating all those platforms. What do you think, Lu?

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:13

      Awesome question, Holly! :) You can expect an answer to that in the next blog post. 😉

  13. Rivania Pillay 4 June 2015 / 17:37

    This is the best post I have read! I only recently started blogging and I keep comparing myself to other bloggers who have been blogging for a long period of time. I tend to get really upset with my photography skills because they are not as good as other bloggers, but I guess everything requires practice. I also started off by only having my family read blog, however, they encouraged me to keep at it and so I have. Thank you again for this inspiring post. It has really motivated me to keep blogging because I really do enjoy it and I hope the people reading it are enjoying it too.

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:16

      Thank you so much for saying that, Rivania. 😀 You are 100% correct, it all takes time but I’m sure you will get there. When I look at my photos from 2 years ago when I just started blogging, I cringe! My photos have improved a lot, and it’s only because I kept practicing. I’m definitely not even close to a level of where I want to be yet, but I try to improve (even if just a little bit) my skills over time.

      Keep blogging, we all have those ‘off-ish’ days… The secret is to just keep at it! :)

  14. Shanice 4 June 2015 / 17:40

    I wanted to start a blog ages ago because I wanted free stuff. Needless to say, I lost interest and stopped after about 3 posts.
    I started years later as a way to record my senior year in high school. Blogging can be so great when done for the right reasons.

    • Luzanne 4 June 2015 / 21:17

      So true, Shanice! I think just blogging for free stuff takes the joy out of it in a way, because you’re constantly worrying about things that you don’t even have any control over. :)

  15. barbara 4 June 2015 / 21:19

    Such a great post, Luzanne! My niece recently started a blog, and I will be showing her this blog post (and the previous one). I’m sure your words will benefit and inspire her.

    Barbara XO

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:17

      That’s great news! Thank you, Barbara – I hope she will enjoy blogging as much as I do. :)

  16. Em Cameron 5 June 2015 / 08:14

    So helpful, thank you L. I’ve often thought of starting a blog but it seems like such hard work and one needs to invest a lot of time to make it work. Not sure I’m there yet, but it also does look like lots of fun. My question for you is, why did you decide to start a blog in the first place?

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:25

      You’re welcome, Em. You are 100% correct, it takes a lot of time and energy to run a blog – but it’s so fulfilling as well.

      I’ll be sure to answer your question in my next blogging tips blog post. 😉

  17. Lauren Henderson 5 June 2015 / 08:16

    I’m not a blogger, but here I am reading this blog post nonetheless! lol

    Have a great weekend, Lu ♥

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:25

      Haha! Such a trooper, thanks Lauren! 😀

  18. Nihaad 5 June 2015 / 10:23

    This post helps so much! I started blogging recently and while I know I am only starting and there’s still SO much for me to learn, I can’t help looking at other blogs thinking “Will my Blog ever look like this?” or “Will my blog also inspire other’s?” But I think I am cutting myself some slack and I am trying to just enjoy the journey… It’s so exciting :)

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:26

      It’s a very exciting journey, Nihaad. :)

  19. Chantelle 5 June 2015 / 10:55

    Hi Lu,

    Such great advice. Sometimes I feel lie I have no Inspiration. Love reading your blog. Keep them tips on coming!

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:27

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read this blog post, Chantelle. I also have those days – just be kind to yourself, and don’t force anything. Your inspiration will be back soon, I’ll put money on it! 😉

  20. Nihaad 5 June 2015 / 11:57

    Also, I am trying to figure out what the best solution would be in terms of social media. Example, should I have a separate profile for my blog on Instagram?

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:28

      I’ll answer your question in my next blog post – thanks for asking, Nihaad. :)

  21. kaRi @ lovilee 5 June 2015 / 15:15

    Great post! Blogging full time is definitely harder than it seems and the misconception exists that you as a blogger have no expenses whatsoever as everything you need gets sponsored for free! Loved the read.

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:28

      Exactly!! You hit the nail on the head! Thank you for checking in on the blog, KaRi. :)

  22. Tyler Leigh 5 June 2015 / 16:16

    I would love to know your top 10 photography tips (and maybe a few tutorials you have used to better your skills)
    I went and bought a DSLR camera to use for my blog and I am in love with it but need to refine my skills.
    Thanks for this post x

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:29

      My pleasure, Tyler Leigh. :)

      I’ll be happy to compile a list of photography tips for an upcoming blog post as part of this series. xo

  23. Meka-O 5 June 2015 / 19:04

    Thank you for this blog post, I am a new blogger and a lot of what you wrote is what I needed to hear. Thanks :-)

    • Luzanne 8 June 2015 / 15:30

      You are so welcome, Meka-O. 😀

  24. racquel swartz 8 June 2015 / 16:11

    Thank you for all the tips dear, they really a great help. I’d like to know If I want to make a vlog for you tube, how do I do that? Do I use a phone camera or do I need a cam corder? What program do I use to edit the video?

  25. Charleen Labuschagne 14 June 2015 / 20:35

    Thank you for this post Luzanne.

    I am a new blogger and I am definitely not in it for any “perks”… but it really feels like I am speaking to a brick wall. This post gives me the courage to keep at it.

    You are awesome.


  26. Matseke Kgaphola 18 June 2015 / 09:51

    I really love reading your blog…you’re my go-to SA blog for must-try products…I bought the LA Girl pro-concealer after reading you review, although I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would, I still enjoy following your blog and instagram

  27. Isabel 27 June 2015 / 20:03

    Great article and really great tips, I didn’t even know about a media kit until I read your post. Thanks for sharing so few bloggers actually share tips on blogging.

  28. Eleanor 2 March 2016 / 22:18

    Hello, I’m actually a natural hair blogger and vlogger, but stumbled across your blog. I loved reading this post so much. Very insightful. Thank you for the great tips, especially the one about comparing yourself to other bloggers. I’m so guilty of it, and I’m working on it! Thanks again.

  29. Bernice Drake 20 April 2016 / 10:19

    Who doesn’t love The Sunscreen song?! So cool that you quote that specific line – very true indeed!
    Thank you for the great post xx

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