HOW TO: MAKE YOUR OWN BLOG BUTTON WITH A GRAB BOX!

Today, I thought I would show you an easy way of how you can make your own blog button like mine above.
Blog buttons are a great way of getting your blog ‘out there’. By putting a blog button with a grab box on your sidebar, its easy for anyone who likes your blog to put your button on their site or in the case of button swaps it just makes it so much easier!

1. Firstly you need to make a blog button. This can be your blog header resized or you can make one from scratch. If your making one I recommend using picmonkey which is free and easy to use!
I would say a decent sized blog button is around 200px x 150px or anything similar (it really depends on what looks best for your button and blog sidebar.

2. Once you have a button, you need to upload it to a site such as photobucket.

3. Going back to your blog, you need to add the following code into the add html gadget via the layout section of blogger (see below).

4. Add the following code into the html box – Edit: Now updated as the previous coding stopped working!

5. In the pink section you need to delete the text and type the link for your blog homepage, for example mine is http://www.sweetelecricblog.com
In the yellow section delete blog name and type in the name of your blog
In the green section you need to delete the text and type in the link to your blog button – if you’re using photobucket you need to copy and past the direct link code.

6. Click save and voila!Your blog button and grab box will now be visible on your blog!

*The code will also centre your button in your blog sidebar*…

MAC ARCHIES GIRLS: BETTY AND VERONICA // FIRST LOOK

Its been a long time since I was this (think mega) excited about a MAC collection. I usually love initial pictures then my interest fades away once I’ve seen swatches and reviews. However, I’m really hoping that this is going to be a gem of a collection. If its grabbed your interest then I’ve found some images to wet your appetite.

*I posted some initial images here*


bright betty


daddy’s little girl


something sweet


ronnie red


spoiled rich quad


pearlmatte powder//caramel sundae quad//ronnie red lipstick//mall madness gloss


brushes

RIMMEL APOCALIPS COLLECTION

I’ve been quite impressed with Rimmel’s new launches recently and I’m looking forward to seeing this collection. The Apocalips collection is eight shades of liquid lip lacquer priced at £5.99 each and available from the end of January.…

4 RESOURCES FOR GROWING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

Social media accounts are a great platform for getting your blog and posts out there. I have very little knowledge of social media – I’ll chuck a tweet out and repin a few images and hope for the best. This year, I want to get a bit more serious with my accounts and look into how I can really work them to their potential when it comes to blogging. I use Twitter and Pinterest mainly but I throw a few images out on instagram now and again. If you’re like me and want to know a bit more about how we can improve our social media accounts then this post might prove fruitful. Gaining subscribers on your accounts is a way to really help improve your blog reach – the more followers you have, the more chance that people will see your blog posts. If you want to grow your social media subscribers then the following may help (click the bold title to view the blog page).

Grow your Instagram followers

If you’re like me and clueless about Instagram then this post may help. There are some great tips here.

How to get more Twitter followers


There’s some really useful information in this post, especially if you’re new to Twitter or want to start up an account.

10 Facebook tips

If your blog has a Facebook page then this is for you.

Grow your Pinterest following

If you’ve joined the Pinterest bandwagon then this post is highly recommended. I’m going to implement some of these strategies and see if they work.…

A FREE BLOGGER TEMPLATE


When I first started blogging I struggled to find a nice free blog template for the blogger platform. When you’re blogging as a hobby, you don’t always want to spend £££s on a blog design so with that in mind I’ve decided to offer one completely free!I’ve shared free templates before but this is an updated version with hover effect social media icons. You can see it live here.

Download blog template here

To install your blog template simply go to the template section of your blogger dashboard – click on the backup/restore button on the top right hand side of the page – choose file – then click on the file from your computer – once you’ve chosen the file, click upload and your new template will now appear.

To install your social media icons – go to the layout section of your blogger dashboard – add html widget – input the following coding:

<!– FACEBOOK –/>

 photo 3_zpsba3cba55.png

<!– PINTEREST –/>
 photo 2_zpsd416e313.png

<!– INSTAGRAM –/>
 photo 5_zps34db02fd.png

<!– TWITTER –/>
 photo 5_zps34db02fd.png

<!– GOOGLE –/>
 photo 5_zps34db02fd.png

<!– YOUTUBE –/>

*Make sure you put the links to your social media accounts in the yellow boxes*

To resolve the default blurry google plus profile picture – go to layout – add html – add the following coding in the blank box:

*Make sure you place the html widget under your profile picture in the layout section of your blogger dashboard*

Let me know if you decide to use the template!You can of course change elements you dont like by altering your html template.

5 RESOURCES FOR OPTIMISING YOUR BLOG & POSTS FOR SEO

Search engine optimisation basically relates to how your blog is placed in search engine results. I’ve already written a post on 5 quick and easy seo tips for bloggers which you can read as a basic starting point. I don’t really consider seo too much when I’m writing on here as its my hobby and I generally like to write in a casual manner. However, for work purposes I do deal with search engine optimisation techniques and I thought it might be useful to share some of the resources that have helped me gain a little more understanding of the subject. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to seo, however if you’re looking to better your blogs standings in search engines (and gain more traffic to your blog) then these are all great resources with very helpful information (p.s. if you have wordpress, I really recommend using the Yoast plugin – its so easy to use).

Anatomy of a blogpost with great seo
A great example of an optimised blog post.

The future of SEO: what to know in 2014
but very relevant now too. How to adapt yourself for the ever evolving world wide web.

How to name your blog photos and why you should
A quick guide for both wordpress and blogger on naming your images.

12 tips and tools for making seo as easy as 123.
A really easy and concise guide to seo.

seo for bloggers: the non techie guide
An easy way to understand seo with some useful tips.…

HOW TO USE PINTEREST TO BOOST YOUR BLOG

Though Pinterest is a great way to procrastinate, its also great for helping to promote your blog and posts. I’m bar far a Pinterest expert but I do use it for my blog and I’m starting to see a bit of traffic from there. This post is a brief guide with links to other information that’s really helpful in getting the most out of it.

What is Pinterest?
If you dont know what Pinterest is, its basically a platform where you can pin images you like to boards. If you sign up to pinterest, I think its a good idea to have a button/social media icon or widget (like I have further down the page) so your subscribers can easily follow you on there. I also think its useful to have a business account – you can sign up hereIts pretty much the same as a standard account but you get to see your analytics so you can view which of your pins are popular which in turn can help you to boost your pinterest subscribers.

How do I pin images from my blog?
I use a pinterest widget for chrome toolbar which allows you to easily pin images from websites onto your boards (you can find that here). You can also add a pin it button to your images so your blog readers can easily pin your blog photos to their boards – this post explains how to add a pin it button to your images. You can also add a share button underneath your posts like I currently have so its even easier for readers to pin your posts/images – you’ll find how to do that here.

How do I gain subscribers on Pinterest?
I think the best way to gain followers on Pinterest is by making sure that you have a widget or follow button on your blog, regularly pin images from other pinners onto your boards and follow other pinners or their boards. As I said at the start of this post, I’m no expert on Pinterest and I dont have thousands of subscribers on there so I’ve started reading advice from others on how to make the most of my pinterest account. This post offers some good insight into growing your pinterest profile as does this infographic.
 
What are rich pins?
Rich pins include extra information about the image source. If you want to enable rich pins for blogger (note to self – you need to do this!) then this is a brilliant post by XOMISSE.com

What else do I need to know?
Some great resources to read are:

*43 ways to grow your blog with pinterest
*How to make your pins go viral
*How to create images people love to pin
*How to go viral on pinterest
*How to SEO your pinterest page
*Use pinterest to boost blog traffic
*How to convert pinterest visitors to subscribers
*7 must have pinterest marketing tools

Do you have a Pinterest account – leave your link below if so!
Do you have any Pinterest tips to share?

108 BLOG POST IDEAS | FOR WHEN WRITERS BLOCK STRIKES

Creating ideas for your blog can be a challenge if you’re suffering from writers block. To give you some inspiration, here are 108 blog post ideas to help kick start your creative juices. These can serve as pointers, blog titles or even as an idea for a blog series and are suitable to use for most blogs. You can switch them up and add your own spin. I hope they’re helpful.

Blog Post Ideas
product review
brand focus
what’s in my makeup bag
what’s in my bag
outfit of the day
beauty product dupes
recipe post
wishlist
great budget beauty buys
products worth the splurge
most used products
favourite makeup brushes
facts about me
what I did during the weekend
my favourite books
book review
my favourite blog posts from the past month – sharing the blogger love
5 places I’d like to travel to
a roundup of new upcoming beauty products
letter to my teenage self or letter to my future self
DIY project
makeup tutorial
skincare routine
everyday makeup
room tour
favourite songs
Why I started blogging
blogging inspiration
my blogging routine
my hopes and aspirations
blog photo setup
my favourite hair styles
what’s on my phone
five things that make me happy
5 quotes I love
a haul post
favourite places to visit in my city
5 healthy eating ideas
empty products
things I want to achieve this year
shop my stash
nail art
my favourite nail polishes
my desk/makeup desk staples
my fitness routine
my favourite beauty brands
my favourite clothing brands
what I’ve been up to lately
how to accessorise an outfit
my favourite instagram accounts
10 favourite pins on pinterest
tips to save money
a holiday post
celebrity fashion/beauty inspiration
home details – favourite home accessories
how to organise your beauty products
how to organise your wardrobe
date night ideas
my favourite apps
5 TV shows I love to watch
sale buys worth purchasing
a photography post
ways to beat blemishes
In my friends makeup bag
guest blog post
things I wish I knew when I started blogging
things I’ve learnt from uni/college
5 minute makeup
brow routine
contouring post
how to style a pair of jeans
how to style a black dress
a day in my life
cute t-shirt ideas
overhyped beauty products
building a makeup collection
three of my favourite purchases
a tag post
my wardrobe staples
things I’m looking forward to in Summer
blog sale
5 easy ways to style your hair
favourite MAC products
how to apply winged liner
tips to organise your blog
the best scented makeup products
my shoe wardrobe
how to use a planner
how to apply fake tan
5 minute manicure
everyday fragrances
films to see this month
beauty gadgets worth purchasing
how much is my face worth?
healthy snack ideas
project life scrapbook
how to cope with a hangover
easy beauty tips tricks
my favourite photographs
exam revision tips
favourite music festivals
5 reasons to love yourself – a confidence post
what I remember from the 90’s – my childhood
what I learned in my teens
how to workout at home
refreshing your room on a budget
5 breakfast ideas
gift ideas for your loved ones…

Giveaway! Win 20 Makeup Revolution Lip Hug Lipsticks

Today I have an awesome giveaway to share with you. The lovely people at Makeup Revolution have kindly offered one reader the chance to win a full set of 20 makeuprevolutionstore.com/index.php/lips/new-liphug.html.

These are a recent launch and not only offer pigmented colour but they’re really easy to wear too.

To enter this competition simply enter your details in the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on December 31st.…

A PHOTO EDITING PROCESS FOR BUSY GIRLS

Photo editing is an important part of content creation. Unfortunately, I don’t have a large amount of free time available to take photos or edit and I would rather spend more time writing and planning. For those of you in a similar position, here’s a guide on how to take/edit your photographs.

Taking photos.
To save time, its best to take your photos in bulk. I have a planner so I know what posts I’m writing for the week ahead and then I can take my photographs based on that. I usually take hundreds of photos in one go as you never know how they’re going to turn out. Sometimes a photo can look great on your camera screen but be slightly blurry when its been uploaded. I like to play around with backgrounds to so I’ll change things up as I go along. Once you start taking photos, its very easy to accumulate hundreds, so its handy to have a large(ish) memory card to store them on. Once they’re uploaded, I’ll have a quick look through them and select the best ones.

Regular photo editing.
For regular beauty posts, I try to keep editing to a minimum. I take all my photos in natural light – I usually take them in my bedroom, where theres quite a lot of light. The only thing I usually change apart from cropping is the brightness of a photograph and I do this using the curves option on ipiccy.


This is pretty much all I do in ipiccy as I don’t like over editing photographs. However for photos, such as collages and for using text over a photo, I use a different method.

Collages and text.
For collages and text, I normally use picmonkey (another free editing site). I use picmonkey as you can now use your own overlays and fonts. To use your an overlay in picmonkey, you upload a photograph as normal and then click onto the overlay section;

I normally use a circle or square and then fade out (on the right hand side selection) to about 40%, so you can still see the original photo through the overlay. I’ll then add some text using the text section;

Picmonkey have several free fonts you can choose from but you can also now use the fonts stored on your computer, which means you can download lots of free fonts from the net to use on your pictures. I really like fontquirrel and dafont for free fonts!
For collages, such as wishlists I use the design option on the front page of picmonkey to get a blank canvas. From here, you can then use the overlay option to select your own overlays – photos for your wishlists etc. These usually need resizing and then you can add text.

Photo collages.
You can also make collages via the collage option on the picmonkey homepage – this is great for putting one or more product photo in an image, such as the one of the Clinique blusher above. Collages can also be made on ipiccy and fotor – these have different template options. You can then also add text afterwards via the usual method once you’ve finished your collage.

Every blogger has different ways of editing their photos and this is just a quick way that works for me. What photo editing sites/programmes do you use?