Blogging tips straight from the experts

Blogging tips straight from the experts | robowecop

On Saturday morning I went to an event in Leeds with a PR company. There was brunch, there were talks from experts and it was so interesting (and a LOT of fun). You probably saw me tweeting about it incessantly (not sorry though because tweeting that much only went and won me a £50 Harvey Nicks voucher. WINNING.) but in case you didn’t, today I’m rounding up all the amazing things I learned about PRs, SEO, full time blogging and a lot of other bits. A load of blogging tips, straight from the mouths of experts.

(We also had the most amazing brunch in the whole world ever and oh my lord if you ever go to Banyan do yourself a favour and get the avocado toast because MY-OH-MY.)

So here is why I left the restaurant on Saturday afternoon feeling pumped and inspired to really start taking my blog and YouTube channel seriously.

1. Posting only reviews could be a bad thing for your SEO. Obviously there are successful review blogs out there, especially beauty ones. But if you’re constantly posting reviews that aren’t very detailed, not very unique and sound a lot like other blog posts going out at the same time then you’re gonna have a problem growing your blog because Google will see them as spammy. Makes me happy I massively cut down on reviews at the beginning of the year!

2. Unique content is best. Following on from the above, unique content is always going to be best. Just doing what everybody else is doing because it feels popular isn’t actually a good thing. PRs, brands and SEO peeps are always looking for people who stand out, people who can post unique content, people who have a unique tone of voice and just generally all of the above. Don’t be a sheep, peeps.

3. Always use no-follow links. I feel like I shouldn’t need to tell you this one but I’m going to anyway. STOP USING FOLLOW LINKS WHEN BRANDS PAY YOU FOR THEM/GIFT YOU PRODUCTS IN RETURN FOR THEM. It’s not worth the risk and any good PR/Brand/SEO peep won’t ask you to because it’s equally as risky for them. SEO companies used to just look for a quick link, but now the guidelines/rules have changed it’s more in their interest to get a no-follow link that isn’t spammy/paid for than it is to do just that. (But by all means use follow links when you haven’t been paid to/given something to link. Das cool.)

4. ALWAYS DISCLOSE. Just always. Always do it. Never lie, never be dishonest. Always. Disclose.

5. Buy your domain ASAP. If you don’t already have your own domain just go buy one. They cost a few quid for the year and it will open so many doors for you. You can’t start building up a DA (domain authority) until you have one and a lot of brands won’t take you seriously. Sorry.

6. Don’t be afraid to start monetising your blog. The best ways to monetise are affiliate links, sponsored posts and advertising but a quick google (or search on any full-time blogger’s blog – they’ve ALL written posts on it) will give you a more in-depth insight into that.

7. Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands. BUT – do it in a polite way. Think more “Hey, I love your brand and if there are any collaboration opportunities in the future I’d love to work with you, here’s my media pack.” over “Hey, send me this, this, this and this so I can review them.” In the very wise words of Hannah Gale – don’t sent shopping lists to strangers.

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8. Research into guidelines and rules. Google Webmaster guidelines, ASA guidelines, all the rules and all the guidelines. Try stay on top of them and pay attention to them because they DO matter.

9. Don’t only do sponsored content. We all know a blog that makes us sigh because oh wow another embarassingly obvious sponsored post wow so original and imaginative. Sure, bloggers have to make money. But you need honesty, integrity and imagination to actually keep a readership. Ain’t nobody gonna keep reading if all you do is post about recruitment firms and spare tyres for a quick £50.

10. Try stay on top of new social media trends. This is one I’m admittedly rubbish at. I tried Periscope and hated it, I’m trying to up my Snapchat game but with my phone being broken it makes it very hard (no working front facing camera does not make an interesting story). Keep an ear to the ground in regards to new social media and try to jump on the trends as and when they happen.

11. PRs look for certain things in bloggers, it’s not necessarily personal. They tend to look for well written content, good imagery, honesty, reliability, relevance and engagement. Things like DA, followers etc do come into account but you’d be surprised how much this is wavered because of the quality of your posts.

12. But they do often have constraints. Things like budget, time, clients and specific targets. It’s not always up to them.

13. PRs WILL blacklist people and even big bloggers make mistakes. Jaywing PR (the company running the event) talked about a campaign they did with Ann Summers. Bloggers got on board (big, full time bloggers – there was a lot involved including hotel stays etc) and some went above and beyond. But one blogger, who could not be named, did virtually nothing and they won’t be working with them again. It only takes one time for you to be blacklisted, guys. No matter your size.

14. When asked how she deals with negative comments, Hannah Gale responded with “I have to remind myself that some people don’t like kittens.” Preach it.

It was such an interesting day, the talks were fantastic and I genuinely came away so inspired. Thank you so much to Jaywing PR for what was an incredible morning. Feeling PUMPED so watch this space!


If you liked this post, you might like My updated blog goals for 2016 or 23 things I’ve learned in 23 years

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37 Comments

  1. Rebecca Ellis
    26th April 2017 / 9:07 pm

    Fantastic post! I’ve just started blogging again after a short break, so I’m really excited to put these to use x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  2. 14th January 2017 / 7:21 pm

    Great tips! I was feeling a bit MEH with my blog but this has given me a boost to up my game xx

  3. Rebecca Ellis
    3rd January 2017 / 7:18 pm

    Fantastic tips! I just started my blog yesterday, so I’m really excited to put these into play x

    http://www.sheintheknow.co.uk

  4. 22nd September 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Great post, thanks for sharing all these tips x

  5. 16th September 2016 / 9:19 pm

    Love this post so much! It’s so true…some people don’t like kittens… just how?!

  6. 9th August 2016 / 9:39 am

    Sounds like you had an incredible day! These tips are great and I’ll definitely keep them in mind.

    Jemima x
    anotherrantingreader.blogspot.co.uk

  7. The Hat Hippie (Robyn Sneddon)
    1st August 2016 / 10:25 pm

    Some great advice in there! Has certainly inspired me with my own blog! Thank-you so much for sharing!
    Robyn (The Hat Hippie)
    http://www.thehathippie.blogspot.co.uk

  8. 18th July 2016 / 3:29 am

    aha so happy to hear that your friends with Hannah Gale! love her blog too

  9. 12th July 2016 / 9:39 pm

    This sounds like it was an awesome event Rhianna. It’s always great to get tips straight from the horses mouth. I personally believe that DA isn’t all important, especially if your posts are engaging and informative. From a brand point of view, I’d take a blogger with a ton of personality and a lower DA than one who does sponsored posts all the time and has a high DA any day :)

  10. Yasmin Rebecca
    11th July 2016 / 1:12 pm

    This is such an amazing post, thanks for sharing all this advice! It’s helped me so much. The first thing I did when I started my blog last year was set up a domain and I definitely think it’s helped my blog out a lot! xxx

    Y x | http://www.thesweetsevenfive.com

  11. 10th July 2016 / 3:10 pm

    Awesome tips! Sounds like you had a really motivating and inspiring day, I love Hannah’s quote! Off to go see what I can improve on now haha, loving the ‘honesty, integrity and imagination’

    Sarah
    scarletstate.co.uk

  12. 9th July 2016 / 2:21 pm

    No. 6. Ha. MAKE ME DO IT.

    No but seriously this was ttthe best post and Hannah Gale’s quote is great. x

    Rachel | A Little Grey

  13. Nicole Marie
    9th July 2016 / 8:48 am

    This is such wonderful advice! I definitely agree with not being a sheep! My favourite blogs are the ones who produce unique content! Buying my own domain is on top of my to do list! I will achieve that one by the end of the year!! Xxx

    Thrifty vintage fashion

  14. Becca
    8th July 2016 / 12:03 pm

    Love this post! I hate that up until recently it’s all been so secretive about how bloggers make money, but tht just doesn’t help anyone. If I had any tips I would definitely share them haha! xx

    http://www.girlglobalising.com

  15. 8th July 2016 / 10:07 am

    Amazing tips Rihanna, I was hoping you would pop up a round up! There’s a lot I need to do, but feeling motivated to try and take things to the next level! Thank you for sharing :) Immy x
    http://www.immymay.com

  16. 8th July 2016 / 9:40 am

    Great post, wish we had similar events here in Scotland too!
    I will certainly be keeping a few points on board now xx

  17. 8th July 2016 / 7:29 am

    Really helpful tips there – thank you!

  18. 7th July 2016 / 11:06 pm

    This is a great post, definitely helpful for this little newbie over here! My biggest peeve on the blogosphere is when you can see a blogger has blatantly been sponsored for something they have no interest in!

    Jen / Velvetspring.co.uk Xx

  19. Becky Hughff
    7th July 2016 / 9:29 pm

    This is a great post and incredibly helpful for a relative newbie!

    http://www.ohsobecky.com

  20. 7th July 2016 / 6:40 pm

    This was so interesting to read, will keep all these in mind for the future!

    Claire ❤ | My Little Memoir

  21. 7th July 2016 / 5:05 pm

    This is a really helpful post and really useful! I’m so bad with staying on top of social media trends but I think that if I don’t like an app/platform, I’m not going to force myself to use it. The event sounds like a great day though! xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  22. 7th July 2016 / 3:41 pm

    This looked like such a good event! Thanks for sharing the tips with us – there’s a lot I can learn here :)
    Sophie Cliff

  23. 7th July 2016 / 3:14 pm

    This is such a helpful post – I really enjoyed your tweets on the day and I’m so glad you’ve got it all in a post here. Also, the food DID look incredible. If only you could share that on the blog too…
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  24. 7th July 2016 / 2:43 pm

    Really great tips! Thank you for this :)
    Sammy // samantha-jayne.com
    xx

  25. Maria Salomonsen
    7th July 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Super helpful and well written! I’m very new around here (blogging business) – what exactly is no-follow links?
    Maria
    http://momentumtravels.com

    • 7th July 2016 / 2:06 pm

      It’s a tag that you can put on links! It’s a little complicated… In VERY basic terms – if you link to another site and it’s a ‘follow link’ then it affects the page ranking of the site you’ve linked to. If you use a ‘no-follow link’ then it doesn’t affect their page ranking. So people used to pay bloggers/websites money to insert a follow link so it would up their google rankings BUT now it’s against Google guidelines to do so in a non-natural format (aka if you’ve been sent something/paid to add the link in). I’d definitely recommend giving it a google, there are loads of helpful articles to help you understand :) xxxxx

      • Maria Salomonsen
        8th July 2016 / 3:47 pm

        Thank you so much, that definitely cleared it up! :)

  26. 7th July 2016 / 1:04 pm

    This sounds like it was such an interesting and inspiring event! Massive thanks for sharing the tips with us!

    Jess / Jess Who

  27. Aimée Julia Cottle
    7th July 2016 / 12:16 pm

    Great tips. I really need to try and get on this whole Snapchat thing because I really struggle with it at the moment! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  28. 7th July 2016 / 9:45 am

    WOW. Seems I’m doing it all wrong then, cheers Rihanna x

  29. 7th July 2016 / 9:45 am

    Really great tips! I’ve stopped doing reviews on my blog purely, because I always feel like there’s hundreds of posts already out there on the same thing. I really want to do more unique posts, so I am glad by getting rid of reviews on my blog I am somewhat headed in the right direction xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

  30. 7th July 2016 / 6:40 am

    All very appropriate and helpful tips!
    Ellie xxx