how to

How To Start A Blog

With the new year do you feel the itch to start a new journey? Have you always thought about starting a blog but never got around to it or never had the right direction? Well this post is dedicated to all the newbies out there.

A step-by-step guide on starting your own blog from a rather experienced blogger.

Step #1: Choose a passion 

Before you get down to the technicalities, it’s important to first know exactly WHAT you would like to blog about.

Have you always loved reading? start a book blog

Like putting together outfits? start a fashion blog

Does taking photos interest you? start a photography blog

Whatever path you choose, make sure it’s something you’re highly passionate about because blogging is a commitment and it’s going to show if you don’t absolutely love what you’re writing about.

Step #2: Choose a platform

Image result for blogging platform

Nowadays you’ve got the option of starting your blog from wherever the heck you want. There’s Squarespace. WordPress, Blogger.

Of course I work from WordPress and as someone who isn’t tech-savvy I’ve found it pretty easy to handle. But make sure you do your research

Step #3: Choose a name

I cannot stress the importance of choosing a catchy blog title. It is the first thing people will see and the first thing they’ll remember. It is your identity.

As more people start blogging, it means there are fewer names for you to choose from. Just let your creativity wander and the right name will come to you.

Step #4: Choose a theme

Image result for blogging theme

Speaking of my experience with WordPress, there is an abundance of free themes to choose from. These have colour schemes and different fonts you can choose from. Of course if you wanna go the extra mile you can buy a paid theme.

But trust me, you’re gonna change your theme. If not often then at least twice in your blogging career.

Step #5: Start Writing!

So, you have your platform. You have your name. You have your theme and you have your passion. Now it’s time to channel that passion out into the world. Show them what you’ve got. Follow my tips on how to write a kick-ass blog post.

Starting out a blog can be daunting and it can feel like you’re not reaping any rewards but here are some life lessons I’ve learnt from blogging, which shows you that it really is worth it in the end.

Book news, how to

20 Bookish Blog Post Ideas 

It’s hard to keep posting frequently and create unique content everytime which is why I came up with 20 blog post ideas for book bloggers. And if you’re not a book blogger simply tell me in the comments and I can make a similar post for blogs in general!

1. Book review ( pretty self explanatory)

2. Bookish Tags- these are especially handy during holiday season because everyone can get into the spirit!  See Tis the season book tag from last year 

3. A post about your To Be Read pile. Tell your readers what you’re excited to start reading 

4.A weekly or monthly or yearly favourite reads post 

5. Make a post about your favourite place to read ( is it a cubby hole? Or simply your bed?) 

6. A book box Unboxing post. There’s a trend where like a million book boxes are up for subscription these days. Maybe review one and let your readers know how you like it 

7. A book inspired outfit post 

8. A book inspired makeup post 

9. Create your own book related quiz (I’ll be doing this one soon!)

10. Share a fictional piece of writing by you or write a short story

11. Discuss a contemporary topic related to books (LGBTQ, the rise of audiobooks) 

12. Write a post expressing an unpopular opinion 

13. Review a book to film adaptation 

14. Do a prediction post for the sequel of a book or predict how an entire series will pan out.

15. Cook something from a book and make a post about it 

16. Review a bookish event or conference that you attended 

17. Create an appreciation post where you shout out all your favourite bloggers 

18. Create a bookish gift guide for this holiday season 

19. Share your favourite quotes from a book or books 

20. Make a blogging advice or tutorial post (How to get ARCs or Promote got blog on Twitter) 

I hope these helped and if you have any more please leave them in the comments below! 

how to, life

10 Habits That Will Change Your Life

In life, it is not uncommon to undergo phases where you’re under immense stress. Some people experience stress everyday through work or looking after your families.

With this being my last year of high school and finals fast approaching, I’ve found that stress has become my best friend. However, surprisingly I’ve discovered that I am not going crazy.

See usually I’m the type to bawl or snap or destroy the world around me when under stress but by ingraining these practices in my lifestyle, I’ve found stress to be a manageable and even motivational phenomena.

Pamper Yourself 

Self-care is the best form of investment you’ll ever make.

Having a hectic week? take time out to put on a face mask for 10 minutes or if you’ve got more time watch an episode of your favourite TV show. Treat yourself for once.

Exercise 

I know. Every guru and their mother preaches this but I personally have found this to be so de-stressing. To be completely honest, I don’t lift weights or do 25 kilometers runs.

Exercise can come in the form of walking instead of catching the bus or riding a bike or simply taking a 10 minute stretch.

Hydrate 

Did you know water is miraculous? it even keeps us alive.

But seriously, water is the best refreshment. Whether it is drinking water or splashing some on your face, it’s like an instant burst of energy!

Eat 

I know workaholics or simple lazy people who skip meals purely because they believe that to be a productive way. Being hungry makes you lethargic and low on energy which means your tasks won’t be accomplished to the best of their ability.

Nuts, fruits, chocolate bars, vegetables, chips, as long as you eat everything in moderation and eat regularly, there is no reason to worry

Organise 

What goes on inside you is highly dependent on what goes on outside you. A messy desk, unwashed clothing on the floor and empty of mugs of tea will inevitably leave you feeling cranky and stressed.

Take time out to organise and de-clutter. You won’t regret it

Meditate 

Another guru preaching! Again I agree with the gurus that meditating is in fact, life changing. Our bodies were not designed to handle the chaos of the world we live in today. Ten minutes before going to bed, make a decision to meditate.

I recommend the phone app Calm which has super helpful guided meditations

Take regular breaks 

With studying and work, it can be easy to lose yourself and be tempted to just power through.  Do remember though that this isn’t healthy or productive.

Taking regular breaks such as listening to music, going for a walk, or chilling on your phone means you come back to work refreshed and even more energized to demolish all your tasks

Collect your thoughts 

This is in line with meditation. Basically when you’re on the bus or in the car, just anywhere that you’re alone with your thoughts, just breath and try to concentrate on your surroundings.

You’ll find that this makes it easier for your mind to catalog your thoughts and you’re more focused with your tasks for the day

Socialise 

You will not believe the miraculous power of surrounding yourself with good energy. After all, what goes on inside is dependent on what goes on outside.

Whether it’s your best friend, your parents, your co-worker- have a conversation. Just talking aimlessly can be therapeutic.

Make your goals really obvious 

Basically remind yourself of why you’re doing this job or this exam. I like to put sticky notes on my wall with my goals on it which means they’re always in my sight and I don’t lose motivation.

Because you’re marking that territory, you’re telling the universe: This goal is mine and I am going to achieve it

Hopefully this helped! Let me know whether you’d like to see similar posts in the future 🙂

how to

How To Write a Good Review

I recently did a post on why I hate reading reviews so I thought it might be a good idea to do a follow-up post about what makes a good, attention drawing review and how you can go about writing one.

Of course I am no expert and my reviews are no where near perfect, I just think, according to me, a review must have these key elements to make it stand out.

Format:

  • Make sure your post has factual information about the book/film/product you’re reviewing and that it is easy to spot like so:

Capture4444

  • A clear and logical structure will make sure your opinion gets across and it’s easy for the reader to follow.
  • Avoid long paragraphs as people generally tend to skim over those
  • Experiment with different ways of presenting information such as using lists or dot points instead of conventional paragraphs.

Writing:

  • Make sure your writing is coherent and easy to follow 
  • A well written review will always ensure your opinion is easy to understand
  • Avoid using long, hefty, words, the less pretentious the review is, the more people will want to come back and read your own unique voice
  • Good grammar and punctuation mean less headaches and more visitors- Read over your review at least once to make sure there are no typos

Visuals:

  • Add relevant pictures such as the cover of the book or a scene from a film to avoid your review from looking dull
  • Avoid overloading your post with GIFs- this will mean your words get lost in the GIFs
  • Experiment with different fonts, colours, things as simple as bold and italics to get your point across while keeping the post interesting.

My rock bottom advice while writing reviews would be to keep it minimalistic while making sure you’re saying everything you want to say. Reviews are a form of expression so of course you’re not bound by any rules but I just thought a post like this might help someone looking for a guideline as to how to write a review!

signature_2

 

how to

5 Tips On Writing A Kick-Ass Blog Post

The key to having a successful blog lies in creating appealing content, right?

After all, that is what makes people hit that ‘follow’ button and ultimately a Kick-Ass blog post is what will make people want more and keep coming back.

As a result of a few agony aunts I’ve received about blogging and advice on blogging and also because I totally consider myself a professional in this field I’ve decided to give some advice on what consists of a good blog post.

1] Plan

ALWAYS ALWAYS have a plan. I mean sure it’s good to be impulsive and spontaneous with your content sometimes however, quality content comes out when you have a basic plan or a general outline of where you’re heading.

Planning is as simple as jotting down things in your notebook or as complex as scheduling your posts for the next two months. Whatever floats your boat and whatever calls for the situation.

Just remember, people will appreciate you having put some thought into your post before hitting that ‘publish’ button.

2] Keep It To The Point

This is pretty self explanatory but say for example, you were writing a review post about the book Pride & Prejudice, as tempting as it might be, don’t go off topic and write two meaningless paragraphs about how hot Mr. Darcy is (meaningless as in meaningless to the post, I’m not attacking your feelings okay). Keep it to the point, what did you like about the book? what did you not like? why?

Having a purpose in mind and reminding yourself of this purpose as you write the post will help you from wandering off. In the case of my example the purpose would be to inform people about your views on Pride & Prejudice.

3] Less is More

Having a post that is straight to the point and minimal wandering off topic will ensure this. Here’s the truth, NO ONE has time to read six long paragraphs about your thoughts on Pride & Prejudice okay. Come to think of it, it doesn’t look appealing either.

First impressions are everything. In a short amount of time you have the task of grabbing the reader’s attention, keeping it and ideally by the end making them wanting more.

Use dot points, Use a few pictures, avoid clutter.

A neat, tidy blog post never hurt anybody.

4] Format

This ties in with the last tip.

FORMATTING IS EVERYTHING. Not really but.

Present your blog post in a neat fashion by avoiding huge chunks of information or like ten consecutive GIFs.

As I said before:

  • Dot Points
  • Pictures/GIFs
  • Highlighting important points by making them bold or italic
  • Using appealing colours

Which reminds me, it is HIGHLY IMPORTANT that your blog is easy on the eyes, I mean white writing on a neon green background? hurts to even think

5] Proof-Read

PLEASE PLEASE proof read. I personally cannot stand spelling errors. I mean blogging is about self-expression so it’s okay to skip punctuation altogether however, all I ask is you don’t butcher the words.

Proof-reading also ensures you’re getting your point across correctly, which is important.

I hope that helps and that now we’ll all be writing kick-ass blog posts!

Let me know if you’d like more blog posts providing advice

signature_2

how to

How To Have The Best Reading Experience

Ever wondered how you can reach the maximum level of investment in a book, the point where nothing else but the events and the characters matter. The point where reality seems like a dull sponge? Keep reading then!

Step One: Find a book of interest

Does the blurb capture you? is the book from a genre you highly enjoy? find a book that has your attention and it feels like your life cannot go on until you engulf the details of this thing. In my words, you don’t choose the book, the book chooses you.

Step Two: Avoid Distractiona

Easing into a book might be a pickle at times but don’t worry, often it isn’t because the book isn’t great but rather because of external factors.

Find some peace and quiet perhaps your bedroom or the library, abandon all friends and music and food and just read. Read surrounded by silence, it’s actually the best thing.

Step Three: Take your book EVERYWHERE you go

School, work, the train station, the toilet, have your book with you at all times so you never have a dull moment cuz hey you can read while waiting for the bus or you can read when Maths is too boring.  But seriously instead of finding time to read, make the time to read. Slipping your book into your daily life is like little boosts of energy

 

Step Four: Avoid sleep at all costs

Your book is way too important to be abandoned for eight straight hours while your brain rests. Avoid sleeping so you’ve got plenty of time to read and one of the best feelings I’ve ever had is finishing a good book in the late hours, it is truly magical.

And at the end of it all you end up looking like this so it’s a win win

Step Five: Withdrawal Symptoms

If you’ve followed steps one to three then congratulation my friend, you have come to that point in your life where the characters continue to exist in your head even when the book is finished. When even a slight mention of the title of the book will send you into a fangirl frenzy and you’ll just be left with wanting more

Step Six: Move On

As much as we’d like to have a long term relationship with our book it is important to understand that it was just a short lived love. All good things must come to an end so it’s time to move on. Don’t worry time heals all wounds so it’s only a matter of time until this book gets folded and filed away neatly in your memory.

Step Seven: Repeat

In the meantime find a new book  of interest and repeat steps one to six for another glorious reading experience.

I just wanted to try something different on this blog so isn’t this a nice creative post? I hope you didn’t take everything too seriously because trust me the sarcasm was real in this post. Oh and don’t lose sleep over your books it’s not healthy seriously though you’ll be able to read better if your brain can actually function so sleep!

signature_2