Saturday, March 28th, 2015
Everybody knows how important social media is now in any marketing strategy particularly when you are running a personal blog.
But just how do you use it?
I work within social media for my day job and also have a real passion for it in my personal life too. But every day on Twitter I see people asking how they can increase their social following, how they can reach new readers for the blog and expand their network.
The key giveaway really is that social networks are called ‘social’ networks. This means that without being social and conversing with other users on these platforms your network will not expand and your followers wont grow.
Being a ghost on social media defeats the point of it. Particularly where blogs are involved as you want to entice people in to visiting your blog and to do this you need to give them a reason why they should. Don’t pester people, but if they’re talking about a topic that you know something about why not join in? Offering your opinion and advice to others is a great way to gain new followers and friends along the way too.
You have probably seen on lots of blog chats running on Twitter, even if you didn’t know what they were. These happen almost daily and cover various topics, depending on the hashtag that they are running from. For example; the beauty blogger hashtag will have topics such as other bloggers favourite brands and the best method to apply your make up successfully. Contrastingly the lifestyle blogger hashtag will have topics that enable other readers to find out more about the person behind the blog/Twitter account.
Making the most of a post
When posting on Twitter there are a lot of different ways to get your post notice. These range from including a photo in your tweet, by doing this your tweet is more likely to be retweeted and shared amongst other users, to using appropriate hashtags that will enhance the scope of your tweet and enable it to be shared with an audience that is interested in the topic you are discussing.
Plus of course there are simple things you need to remember to do too. Such as having a clear photo attached your profile and not using the default Twitter egg. Also, try and ensure that you include your blog URL in your profile and, if possible, your blog email too; this will make it far easier for people to contact you and possibly offer you opportunities for your blog.
Connect with others
You can’t create a Twitter profile and expect everyone to come to you. You need to grow your network first, and you do this by following others that are interested in the topics you are too. Personally I would aim to start following other bloggers, you can do this by searching the beauty blogger hashtag and finding other active bloggers.
Once you start connecting with other users on this platform your network will start to grow to, those that you have followed may choose to follow you back and through your use of hashtags and blog chats, as we discussed above, other users will retweet your tweets (favourites are good too as they are shared on the “discover” tab) and this will enable your network to grow as others see your tweets and join in with your discussion.
Twitter is a fantastic tool for a variety of businesses and I think it has particularly grown in purpose for bloggers recently too. There is no better platform to connect with like-minded people and share in your interests.
What are you top tips for Twitter?
Thursday, March 26th, 2015
Sunglasses are a fashion staple, and many designers from around the world design sunglasses that will take your look from drab to fab throughout the year.
After all, you need to wear your sunglasses in the winter, too, to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. But even though there are so many sunglasses brands to choose from and so many popular designers producing gorgeous frames, there are certain ones that really stand out as the top brands to go after.
Continue reading for a look at the top three sunglasses brands for 2015. Then be sure to find a style you love and add it to your collection this year to look your best and as trendy as possible.
Gucci sunglasses have been hugely popular for many, many years, so it really should come as no surprise that the brand is still going strong in 2015. The designer’s line of spring and summer sunglasses offer a variety of styles to suit everyone’s preferences, and the collection ranges from the iconic GG logo styles, to bamboo horsebit details and tortoise shell frames.
From modern silhouettes to vintage beauty, big black styles with gold buckles, and more, no matter what style you choose, you can rest assured that every pair will provide the highest UV protection, thanks to polarised lenses. So whether you are looking for something really sophisticated or really casual, you can likely find exactly what you’re looking for in Gucci’s 2015 collection.
Miu Miu sunglasses are also hugely popular right now. This designer brand’s collection is all about being free yet sophisticated at the same time. It is about alternative style and strong personalities. Miu Miu’s fans are on top of trends, but they do things differently. Look for frames that aren’t perfectly round, for coloured lenses, for big and bold cat eye shapes, and more in this year’s vibrant and eclectic collection that will suit everyone’s preferences.
So if you feel like you do not really fit in with the crowd or if you want to be trendy but not too trendy, Miu Miu is the brand for you. Check out the brand’s many young, sensual, alternative, urban styles that are quickly becoming the “new classic” in the world of fashion.
No list of the top sunglasses brands would be complete without mentioning Ray-Ban. Although it is one of the most expensive brands on the market, it is for good reason because these sunglasses are designed to last a long time without going out of style. They protect your eyes from UV radiation from the sun, yet they feature classy styles that are great for both men and women.
Ray-Ban sunglasses are designed to give you a distinguished look. High quality materials are used, so you can rest assured that your money is well spent. It is no surprise that so many celebrities love sporting Ray-Bans whenever they are out and about, and once you get a pair of Ray-Bans, it may be difficult to switch brands after that.
What brand is your go to when the sun decides to shine?
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Without going in to detail, the past month has been a real struggle for me and at times I have sat and thought “what’s the point?”
When you feel you have nothing there to strive for then it is far too easy to feel down and that nothing matters. But once you get out of this dead end and realise that life really is what you make it – then you will see the positive light that enables you to make the changes you need to improve your life for YOU and nobody else.
I will readily admit to not having many friends and actually this past month I have realised just how few this is, but what matters is the ones I do have are there for me when I need them. Whether that’s me going on and on at 11pm at night or having them talk me round and out of bed at 6am. I don’t need quantity, I just need a good quality of friend that actually genuinely cares about me.
Clearing out those that wouldn’t think twice about you can make a world of difference to your mind. Those people that only talk when you message first or are constantly cancelling plans. The ones that when you change your number without warning (this is where I speak from experience), they make no effort to find out if you are ok through other means – thankfully not all of them were like that, some sought me out to ensure that I was ok and they are the ones that matter.
Ultimately you don’t need to find happiness with anybody but yourself to make you complete. All the love in the world won’t make you feel whole without understanding yourself first.
When I was younger I was teeny tiny but living alone and succumbing to take away food far too often meant that my dress size gradually increased. For years I didn’t feel comfortable in myself but my love of food and hate of exercise meant that I didn’t really do too much about it.
However as an issue that is constantly on my mind, I knew that to truly shake up and improve my life I really needed to put a focus on this.
Now, I won’t proclaim to be living on veg and shakes – going for 5 mile runs each day. But we all start somewhere, right? I have cut down massively on carbs, though I still get my fill at lunch, and try to eat just meat/fish and vegetables for dinner.
I have started exercising too – with 7 day slim. Obviously what attracted me to it is that it’s done in 10 minute sessions! A time frame that is easy to fit in to my daily routine. But what I am surprised by is that it is actually hard work and the best part? After 2 weeks I have dropped a dress size and actually FEEL better in myself too.
You don’t have to be training for a marathon.
Look to the future
If we all sat dwelling on the past we would go nowhere. Thinking about what could have been and where you went wrong, whilst a learning point to a degree, will not allow you to progress in life.
Think about the positives you do have. What you have got to look forward to and how you can work towards improving things for the better.
I have looked in to working abroad and giving something back. Helping others would give even the coldest ice queen a warm heart. Adapting to surroundings you are unaccustomed to can also only do you good, giving you the opportunity to see how lucky you are with what you have.
I am not saying I have all the answers but even making these changes to my life has left me feeling entirely more positive than I did a short while ago.
Sometimes you need a shock to enable and encourage you to look at what is most important in life – first and foremost, that’s you.
Monday, March 23rd, 2015
From time to time, many people have overnight guests, such as friends or relations who come to stay over. It can be fun and entertaining, but you do, of course, want to ensure that you are prepared to welcome and look after your guests properly. This includes preparing your home to ensure that they get to enjoy a welcoming atmosphere, inviting surroundings and ultimately some homely comfort.
One of the key things you will need to do when you have overnight guests is to ensure that they have a comfortable place to sleep. If you have guests staying over on a fairly regular basis it is well worth setting up a guest bedroom in your home. Of course, one of the key features of this room will be the bed itself, so make sure you invest in a comfortable small fold-out frame that stores away easily but can still hold two people, so that you can accommodate those friends simply looking for a place to crash after an entertaining night and who are not looking for special B&B treatment. You also need to ensure that your guests have storage space for their belongings, particularly if you have people that may be staying for more than one night. You can consider buying a bed with built in storage or invest in a wardrobe for the room. Other little extras to look into for the guest bedroom include bedside tables, lamps and perhaps a small flat screen TV, which you can wall mount to save space.
Preparing the other main rooms
In addition to preparing the guest bedroom, it is also important to ensure that the rest of the house is clean, clear and welcoming for your guests. Make sure you get rid of any clutter in the various rooms around your home. Give the living area and kitchen a good clean, as these are probably the main two rooms that your guests will be using other than the guest bedroom. Also, make sure you don’t forget about the bathroom, as this is another room your guests are likely to use. Get the bath or shower cubicle scrubbed, clean the sinks and don’t forget to put a dash or bleach down the toilet.
Creating an ambiance
Creating the right ambiance is another important part of preparing your home for guests. Light some scented candles or make sure you have some air freshener to hand. Also, rather than opting for full lighting create a serene atmosphere with mood lighting such as table lamps. During the winter months you should also make sure that the heating or fire is on in advance of your guests arriving so that they are able to enter a cosy, warm house when they arrive.
All of these little steps will go a long way towards ensuring that your house guests get to enjoy a great atmosphere, a pleasant environment and a comfortable sleeping area whenever they come to visit.
Carousel Diary is written by Katrina, a 24 year old from Essex. Find out more →