Beginner Blogging Guide

BloggingGuide

I’ve gotten a few questions both in the past and recently on tips to run a blog. I thought it would be nice to compile a post with all the main points I think are really important in running a successful blog. I am so flattered to have been approached multiple times and I’ve always been more than happy to give little bits and pieces of advice. =) Like my uni guide, I will also be splitting this apart into smaller categories so it’ll be easy for you understand and break everything down!

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Originality

With so many blogs all over the internet, it’s essential that you not only be yourself but to also stand out in some way or another! You want your blog to represent yourself at the maximum and this is already enough to be original, because you’re you and there’s no one else out there identical to you! But chances are, people will not know who you are so you need to choose a name that will give others a lasting impression of you.

♡ Choose a suitable blog name! I honestly think this is the hardest part when starting up a new concept or idea. Coming up with a name can be extremely difficult, especially if the name you decided on in advance is already taken! The name itself should just relate personally to yourself and if you know you’ll have a focus on just one particular category, incorporate that into the name. I’m personally really into puns and play on words. =P

♡ Use nice graphics and a neat layout! Making your blog aesthetically pleasing by using nice graphics and a well composed layout is essential. I know we’re told to not judge a book by its cover, but it’s so hard not to! The nicer your blog looks, the more likely people will want to come back and anticipate more posts from you. =) In terms of graphics, I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 to create and edit them. If not, you can find some off the internet, which I often turn to as well. Just make sure that you credit the sources wherever possible. There are so many choices that there is no doubt you will find what you’re looking for!

♡ Alongside using nice graphics and an appropriate layout, have a consistent theme! In my case, I layout my posts differently according to their topic so my tutorials, guides, collections/overviews, tags etc. all have a different theme to them! I think this is a great way to keep things consistent but a little different at the same time (if that makes any sense hehe). Sometimes looking at one theme every single time can get a little bland so it’s nice to change things up once in a while!

Writing

The main purpose of blogging is to write of course! I think it’s really important to adapt a nice and concise way of writing so that everyone will enjoy reading about what you have to say.

♡ Check spelling and use appropriate grammar and punctuation. This is especially important if you’re trying to maintain a professional blog. It’s also just a lot easier to read if the writing is in the correct format! =P I know that I use a lot of smileys in my posts but that’s just me being myself (see last category hehe) but I definitely want to make sure that I have no spelling errors and that the text itself is clear!

♡ Use subheadings to break your post down. This will probably only be necessary for longer posts but this a tip that would also benefit you because you’ll be able to plan out your post a little better and it also makes it easier to expand on what you want to say.

Proofread your posts! I always make sure that all my posts are read at least once more time through before I press the publish button. I would never want to post something I didn’t want to say or if I’ve repeated anything, I’d definitely want to make sure it gets removed! Make sure that the final product is exactly what you would want other people to read.

♡ Use tags and categories. Picking appropriate tags will make it easier for other people to search and find your posts. Categorising is also important because it will allow other people to quickly navigate through your posts to find what interests them! If they enjoy a specific post and wish to read more about what you have to say on that particular topic, categorising will be absolutely fundamental!

Consistency

It’s important that you post on a relatively regular basis. People want to read as many amazing posts from you as possible! If you make a commitment to blog on certain days of the week or fortnight, people will constantly visit your blog to see if you have uploaded any new posts.

♡ Have an upload schedule. I know that with life commitments, it’s hard to upload very frequently but I think it’s great to dedicate a time that you can spend to blog and upload. Whether it be once a week or once a fortnight, select a time most suitable for you and stick with it! A successful blog means you need to commit to it so just work around your own time schedule and find a slot that blogging can fit into perfectly. =)

Interaction

Another important one is to interact with your followers and other fellow bloggers! In my opinion, the best part about the blogging community is all the amazing and incredibly talented people! I like dedicating my time to like and comment on posts as much as I can. It’s nice to both give love and return the love you receive from other people!

Talk to other bloggers and engage with your followers. You can’t expect to find people to read your blog if you don’t go searching for them yourself first! Not only will you be finding new fantastic blogs to follow and read incredible posts from, they will be introduced to your own blog too. It’s a win-win situation!

♡ Leave thoughtful and sincere comments. Don’t spam other blog posts with an advertisement for your blog. This can come across as being a bit aggressive and rude so make sure that if you do decide to leave a comment, make it appropriate to the actual content of their posts! Actually read their post and leave a comment related to it.

BeYourself

The most important tip is to just be yourself and enjoy the glory that is blogging! Surely you would have decided to start up a blog after thinking that it would be a fantastic new hobby, and it truly is! Great decision hehe.

♡ Be genuine and true to yourself. No matter what you post and say, it should reflect your true morals, values and opinions. If you’re planning on writing beauty reviews, please do make sure that everything you say is completely honest. People are reading reviews because they want to see if particular products will work out for them so give them the help they are looking for! =) Also, don’t ever feel the need to post about something you’re uncomfortable with. Always check that it’s something you want to share for the rest of the internet to see.

♡ Have the best time of your life! If there ever is a certain point in time where blogging no longer becomes fun to you and is a chore or becomes stressful, take a break! No one will blame you if you have had a tough time or anything along those lines and just aren’t in the mood to write about anything. This is your blog and you are always welcome to take a step back from it if you want or need to!

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These are all the basic tips and tricks that I can provide for people who wish to start up a blog. If you ever need some more help, feel free to leave me a comment down below or email me privately at dorkchopsworld@gmail.com. I’m always happy to help anyone who is feeling a little lost or needs some extra encouragement. =) Thank you for reading!

University Survival Guide

GuideSurvivingUni

I’m not sure about everywhere else around the world but university has started for us Aussie students so I wanted to do a complete post on how to make the most of your studies, especially considering that university/college represent some important years of life before you’re forced to enter the ever so scary workforce. =O It will be my third year of university this coming week and I wanted to share my experiences and tips that I’ve had along the way. Admittedly, I didn’t research much about university (not even my course, which was very stupid of me ><) before I walked in and I was so shocked by the transition from high school to university. It truly is an entire new world that I was not expecting but I’m here to lessen the fear and make you feel prepared for what’s ahead of you! I’ve broken my post down into a few key categories.

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Organisation

Being organised and having great time management skills are absolutely important (with anything you do really!). University = lots of homework, essays, exams, extracurricular activities etc. With all these things you need to do, it’s important to keep track so you don’t leave things to the last minute or forget any important dates.

♡ Use a planner/diary! Note down every single event you have on and plan ahead! If you have an essay due, schedule out in your planner so you won’t be leaving it all to the night before. Many subjects have frequent smaller assessments throughout the semester and it’s easy to forget them so don’t just write everything down, remember to consistently check your planner/diary at least once everyday!

♡ Make a to-do list! Studies show that making a checklist makes us more likely to actually get everything done because checking off all the things you have done for the day is really fulfilling and satisfying. It’s a bad feeling when we have to cross something off that we didn’t get done!

♡ Separate each unit of study/subject. It will get confusing if you compile everything into one and it gets incredibly messy, so splitting them up and making it clearly obvious that your documents/papers are distinguished as different subjects such as through colour coding or using dividers and binders/folders will make things so much easier for you!

Attendance

Ok so I know that a majority of students only attend their tutorials and not their lectures because most lectures (in my case) are recorded online so they’re readily available at your convenience! But it truly makes it hard to be up to date because in most cases, you end up procrastinating and not catching up with the recordings at all so they pile up. Then when you get the chance to catch up, you’re not giving your full attention because you just want to get through them quickly to get up to date. Therefore the greatest advice I can give is quite obvious, attend all your lectures and tutorials! It will make your life so much less stressful when it comes to doing exams and assessments during the semester!

♡ Tutorials are the best places to ask questions. Your tutors are there to help you and they are more than happy to. If you’re unsure about a certain portion of your subject or you need clarification, ask them and don’t be afraid to!

Preparation

If you’re a full-time university student, it’s inevitable that you will have so much content you need to go through and revise. In my opinion, the best approach to not be so overwhelmed by it all is to be consistently revising! Don’t leave it to the last minute or leave it until a week before you have an exam on! This is a struggle that is so common among university students because who actually enjoys studying right? LOL. But it truly makes a difference in your stress levels! By the time you need to prepare for exams, you will spend a shorter period of time revising because you’ve already been doing it the whole semester!

♡ Know your syllabus/unit of study outline! It is probably the single most important paper in university. The syllabus sets out points on exactly what will be taught and can be examined in your assessments. If you are aware of the possible content that can be questionable, it will make studying so much easier because you will only be revising over information that you actually need!

♡ Plan ahead. Know your scheduled assessment timetable so you have a decent heads up on when you will need to revise most thoroughly and work out how much time you need to spend on each subject. If you’re extremely knowledgable in one subject but lacking in another, allocate more time on the subject you’re struggling with so you can excel in both!

Materials

One of the most expensive things about university are the textbooks that you are told you have to purchase and they truly add up. But you definitely don’t! Figure out if the recommended textbooks are actually examinable. Most of the time they are for supporting materials and if that’s the case, just go into the university library to look up the pages you need! If it is fundamental that you need to purchase a textbook, don’t worry! I know that where I live, there are websites that sell discounted textbooks. If not, you can sell them after you’ve used them!

♡ The library is your best friend! Only buy what you need to spare some money. =) Textbooks are incredibly expensive (especially if you purchase them directly from the university store) but most of the time, everything you need is right in the shelves.

♡ Always have spare pens and pencils! This is especially important during assessment period, you would never want to be in a situation where your pen has run out of ink or you’re out of lead! Even in examinations that require the use of a calculator, I would bring a spare one just in case one suddenly runs out of batteries midway through.

Social

People say that the friends you make in university are the friends you keep for the rest of your life! Even until now, I’ve definitely realised that some people from high school were only my friends because I saw them everyday. I have to say that I’m not a completely social person and I was nervous entering university because most of my closest high school friends were going separate ways and this meant that I was forcing myself to be in a situation where I would actually have to go out of my way to introduce myself and interact with other fellow uni students. However, this is something you really need to overcome! University is tough so it’s important to have friends around you to support you both academically and emotionally.

♡ Spare time for your hobbies and friends! You need to destress somehow and spending time with good company definitely helps alleviate a lot of the stress!

♡ Make time for yourself. Don’t forget to pamper yourself sometimes and never feel guilty about it! You can’t possibly be doing university work all the time so go paint your nails, take a relaxing bath, do a face mask.. do anything you want. =)

♡ Join campus societies and clubs! They’re a great way to meet some new faces and do fun activities together with. Being part of the committees is a great way to boost up your CV too!

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For those of you that are starting university or have started already, I wish you all the best in your studies! =) Try your best to be organised but also loosen up a little, don’t get too stressed out and remember not to be too hard on yourself! I know you have the motivation and determination to study hard until you graduate so keep at it! If you have any other questions you want to know or have any requests on future school related posts, please feel free to leave them in the comments!