Tips to successful blogging!


It has only been five months since I decided to start a blog myself and realised how hard it is to get yourself out there when there are already so many big blogs around. For a moment it felt like this was going to be a waste of time. That I was going nowhere and would achieve nothing. I though, how do you compete with bloggers with 1000, 5000, 10000+ followers? Though there is no right or wrong answer, there are a few pointers that I've managed to get along the way and thought it was only right I share them since I have been asked a lot. I am by no means saying I am someone who knows it all, just someone who is a new blogger herself and wanting to share some useful tips. So here it goes...


1) Network, Network, Network!
This may seem like an obvious tip but you'd be surprised how much networking has helped me get my blog out there. It is not even just about getting your blog out there though. You have to see it as an opportunity for you to have a conversation with people who love the same types of things you do, get into reading other blogs and chatting to the founders and writers of blogs. For example, if you have Facebook join blogger groups.  There is usually a conversation going on but I will warn you that these chats leave you with about a hundred additions to your wish list. Another way is exchanging links with people. This is another way to get yourself out there- if you do not promote your own blog, nobody else will. When commenting on other blogs, you could leave the link to your blog at the end. But as a side note, all those people who you've spammed to follow you may not necessarily read your blog afterwards- so do not get too hung up on this, and remember, let your blog grow 'organically'


2) Good Content
It is your blog so do what ever you want to do with it. Your content does not have to be the same as everyone else's. Think about what you would like to read and try to put that into your blog. Make it as formal or informal as you want it to be. Reading other blogs can also help give you ideas on what you want to write. Make sure your posts are well written and the spelling/grammar is correct as there are quite a few spelling/grammar critics in the blogging world! Make sure you do not go off too much on a tangent and decide on how long you want your posts to be, even though I have found that myself to be a challenge, but over time it does get easier.  If you do decide to have slightly longer posts, I would advise you break it up with some pictures along the way. Another idea is that if you are reviewing a product, remember to put all key information in there- if you wanted to read a review of a product, what would you want to know? And again, don't forget to separate the info with photos of the product. Over time you will slowly start to get people revisiting your blog and starting to follow.


3) Good Photos
In an ideal blog post, I personally think clear, good quality photos are best. Though I don't believe you need a high tech camera to do so, something as simple as your phone will be as good. I think that adding a photo or two entice more people into reading your post. Your photos do not have to be that of a professionals with a crisp clean, flawless white background. Why not try your desk, bedsheets, wallpaper samples, flooring or even the grass sitting outside in your garden. Take photos in good light- this can be hard sometimes, however, I have found that taking a good set of blog photos in the morning or early afternoon really helps. Though if for some reason this isn't the best option for you, try moving around a table lamp. Though this wont give as good results it still will turn out great!  If I have organised the posts I want to do for the next week or two, I try to take photos before writing the post which can save me having to run around last minute. Once photos are taken, it is likely that you will need to edit them. Again, me being into photography and editing, I have quite a few editing programs, softwares and apps both on my iPhone and mac so depending on what needs to be done to the photo, that will depend on what I use.


4) Stay Organised
This is one of those things that may seem obvious but it is key to getting your blog off to the right start. Of course, it all depends on where you see your blog going. However, you wouldn't be blogging unless you wanted at least one person to even read it. It is important that you have some sort of schedule for when you will post something. Though don't feel subject to it and feel that each deadline has to be met as I soon realised after starting my blog that it was going to be hard to maintain. Back in late February when I first started blogging, I would find it rather easy to publish a new post every day however, my school and personal life has since gotten slightly crazy with exams, revision and the life of a teenager so now I try to post at least twice a week which is more feasible and doesn't mess my readers around so much. I also think it is important to have your posts planned out- it does not have to be the next sixth months worth of posts but I feel like at least the next week or so. 



5) Social Media
Simple but effective. By signing up to different social media sites - particularly Instagram and Twitter - your audience will grow as you keep followers up-to-date with what you post but just make sure that you link everything up with your blog so people can find what you are talking about and don't have to go searching for it (which people are less likely to do).


6) Advertising
Many blogs have advertising available. I think it is careful to select who you are going to advertise with as many bloggers offer different rates for different advertising so make sure that you follow out the appropriate research. The negative side of that is that it can be rather costly and would be a slight disappointment if you don't the visitors you want to your blog. That is why there is a scheme floating around called 'Ad swaps'. This is super handy if you are like me and don't want to pay for advertisement. This allows other bloggers to promote your blog on their website and in return you do the same for them. This way you know you are not going to be scammed and you are reassured that all your readers are legit. I would also make sure you have a blog button available as often some bloggers will ask for blog buttons to put in their sidebar as part of the ad swap.


7) Persevere 
Though it can be hard not to get upset and frustrated when your blog is not going where you want it to or something has gone wrong or not working out, but at moments like these you have to sit down and remember why you started blogging and possibly even take a few days out to chill and even gather more ideas and find inspiration. Talk to others and see what they would like to see on your blog -whether its your gran, best friend or even just a complete stranger that reads your blog. Confidence is easily spotted through blog posts, so if you have no passion or are just writing something because you feel you have to no doubt, people will see it. Remember things do not happen overnight so don't get frustrated and continue doing your own thing. Just remember that your blog is your place to be you.


I hope these tips have helped anyone reading this who is starting out and also for anyone who feels like their blog isn't going where they would like it to go. I also love coming across both new and old blogs so please feel free to drop your link down below in the comments or send a wee tweet or so and I will check them all out and share any blogs that I love! 






EYELINER: WHEN TO DRAW THE LINE

Eyeliner. I love it. Though you have to watch out as there is a fine line before you take your look from the stunning Marilyn Monroe to the not so stunning, Marilyn Manson in seconds. 


However, by avoiding these next few steps you will be on your way to achieving that flawless look.

Don't be too harsh on the waterlines.


Lining your waterlines with eyeliner can seem like a good idea and help achieve a great look, but, going for that severe-looking black liner on the waterlines alone tends to leave your eyes looking small and angry. Just take Shirley Carter from Eastenders for example.


Master the flick, or flick off.


I know myself that it can be tricky to accomplish a gorgeous cat-eyed flick and especially to get both eyes identical! However, no flick is better than a dodgy one. Believe me when I say it myself; I have even tried to make the best of a badly done wing and trust me - it aint a good idea unless you want to be looking like a panda. Just clean it off and start a off new, which can be a pain, especially if you have gone all out and have applied eyeshadow but you will be thankful for it later.


Avoid build up.


It is really irritating when parts of your eyeliner in your tear duct build up. Eye boogers. When they accumulate within the corners it aint flattering when you're having to fish them out using a mirror or the camera on your phone whilst out and about. But behold! There is a way that can prevent this and that is trying to avoid going close into the inner corners...or just make sure you have either a mirror or phone handy.


Less is more. Right?


For you people out there who get quite eyeliner-happy (including myself), try avoiding caking your lower eyelids. This is because few eye shapes can actually pull off this look without their eyes looking tired and droopy. By all means drag your eyeliner pencil along the lower lash line, but girls (or guys) please don't fall into the trap of looking like a raccoon. It's not a good look.


I hope these tips have helped a little, and as always I will be seeing you soon with another post very soon.


Don't Stop | #MusicMonday



Apologies for not uploading a Music Monday for quite sometime...again, but I promise that I will get back  into it all :)

However, this weeks choice of song is by one of the nicest, coolest, down-to-earth guys that I have had the pleasure to support for the past 3 years xD


'Don't Stop' - Covered by Mark Angels (Originally 5 Seconds Of Summer) 


I am a real sucker when it comes to any music by Mark Angels as no matter whether it is his own song 'Drop Down Low' or to his cover of 'Not A Bad Thing' (originally by Justin Timberlake) there is no doubt that it will be outstanding! 

(Video above is only available on some platforms so click here to access it if it isn't showing)

Mark Angels was born in the Philippines but moved to Glasgow when he was two years old. Mark has since been based in Glasgow following his dreams. 
In 2013 Mark won the "Best Unsigned Act of 2013" at the Young Scot Awards at the Clyde Auditorium which was an amazing experience not only for him but all his fans, to see him walk up and collect the outstanding achievement from the one and only Nina Nesbitt! 
-I remember watching it and feeling so proud as not only did he deserve it due to all his hard work, it was also his first of many music awards to come!



Mark Angels has since continued to pull in more and more fans with his talent and now sits with 92.2k followers on twitter alone! You really need to watch this space. So why don't you join the fan base and support Mark Angels! You will find all his links down below :)


(Includes his original music plus covers)


(He really is one of the nicest people ever! - The world needs more people like him!)








Joining the Topshop Fashion Forum!

"Which trend would you like to see ditched"?
On Tuesday 22nd of July, I was delighted to join bloggers and fashionistas from Edinburgh  and around, as part of Topshops' Fashion Forum. The exclusive after-hours event, that was running as part of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival, kicked off with everyone tucking into cake from Lovecrumbs and a glass of Prosecco on arrival alongside some mingling with others.

This after-hours event was a fantastic opportunity to get under the skin with high street's most forward thinking and loving 'omni-brand', Topshop. It was informal, jollification and fun! Once everyone arrived and settled, the fashion side began to get underway starting with a Q&A session with a panel of wonderful, inspirational bloggers and fashion experts. 


Left to right: Laura Galloway, Topshops' Personal Shopper; Sheri Scott, blogger at Forever Yours Betty;
Wendy H Gilmour, blogger at ThankFiFi and Sarah Fraser, blogger at We Shop Therefore We Are. With presenter/host, Josie Smith (love her hair!).


After the fun, interactive Q&A, I was honoured to meet and talk to Sheri Scott from Forever Yours Betty, along side my friends! She is such a enthusiastic, beautiful person with amazing fashion style. I would definitely recommend checking her out along side Wendy and Sarah mentioned above. :)
The fun, however, did not stop as we were all given a free palette as a thank you with any purchase. So of course I decided to buy a few items, but with in mind that I only had 40 quid in by purse.


The first thing that managed its way into my life was this gold look necklace with silver filigree charm. I don't tend to go for necklaces with this sort of style but for only £7.50 I knew it was going to be a brilliant buy.
Next was this sporty raglan top with stripes on the arms in the colour Nude. This top comes in a variety of colours so it was a close call. This was £16.

Lastly, just as I was heading to the checkout the following skinny rib crop tee made its way into my hands. The short sleeved crop top in ribbed fabric comes in a range of colours as well. I was surprised when I turned the price tag around to see that it was only £8! - Which is really cheap for the quality!

Those three items came to a cost of £31.50 but with student discount of 10% it came to only £28.35! And not to forget that all important free brow palette (hehe) in the shade 'Fetch'. 


It's a super handy palette that comes with tweeze to remove any stray hairs, a fibre wand to brush brows into desired shape and a rounded brush for easy application, all within a wee slide out drawer underneath the palette itself. It has a retail price of £12 available both in store and online.


Overall, Topshops' blogger Fashion Forum was a super exciting and incredible event leaving me searching for more blogger events.

So. To finish up; What trend would you like to see ditched? Would it be skorts, chokers, or even flatforms? I know, just like many people, mines would have to be wearing leggings with short tops and not to add those white nike airs'!




IKRUSH DISCOUNT! *


We all love to shop right, and especially from the comfort of your own home so that is why I bring to you, IKRUSH! IKRUSH is a website jammed packed full of affordable, trendy items and some of the hottest celeb-inspired pieces. Don't you want to be looking extremely stylish this summer, no matter what the weather? 

I would also like to add that IKRUSH have also, benevolently, sent me a discount code to share with all readers of 'Ka5thleen' so please keep reading to find out more! :)

I have selected a few of my favourite items from their current collection to share with you. 

































Above are six of my favourite items that I will talk you through from the top left to the bottom right.


Lola Neon Pink Shift Dress 
I really like this dress because it combines two of my favourite things when it comes to clothing. Comfort and style. You could wear it all year round as well by wearing it with white flatforms in summer whilst in winter, wearing it with black or navy tights and boots. I really do like this dress!


ElleJay Cropped Floral Kimono (in Blue)
I really like kimonos as you can easily dress up or down wearing them and even style them by the pool. I would wear this one with a light coloured pair of shorts and a bright summery top.


Alexine Tribal Print Skort

Skorts are really in right now and I think this one can be worn during the day and evening. I would wear this skort with a bright top and 'flat-soled' converses during the day and at night with a black top and either black platforms or flatforms.


Zaira Denim Shorts
Shorts are a wardrobe staple. I love these denim cut-off shorts with cream lace detail and silver studs as they are stylish and give a bohemian look. I would wear these shorts with a printed top and either converses or sandals. 


Lottie Canvas Bum Bag (in Neon Pink) 
Bum bags are the essential bag this summer for festival goers. This handy little bag is perfect as it keeps your hands free whilst you dance and jump to your favourite band! Not to mention the neon colours will stand out against all those black bum bags out there in the crowd. I would wear this with almost anything but most likely with shorts, converses and a t-shirt of some sort :)


Clara Heeled Sandals (in White)
Flatforms are another on-trend growing strong this summer. They are great as they are supper stylish but comfy. These will make any pair of legs look wonderful, long and catwalk ready. I would wear these flatforms again, with almost everything but for ideas maybe with a playsuit or short-dungarees.



See something you like? Well, to make things even better, IKRUSH have given me an exclusive discount code to give away to every reader of 'Ka5thleen'! Check out IKRUSH's full website by clicking the link below and when you head to the checkout make sure you type in IKBL15 to get an awesome 15% off


www.IKRUSH.com







Out of the Blue | #MusicMonday




Its Monday which means a new song which is in dire need as I haven't done one in so long, which I apologise for!

This weeks choice of song is from one of my favourite bands!


'Out of the Blue' by Prides 


Prides are a Scottish, synth-pop band formed in Glasgow last year. Band members include lead vocalist and pianist, Stewart Brock, guitarist, pianist and vocalist, Callum Wiseman and drummer, Lewis Gardner. The song I have chosen to feature in this post is 'Out of the Blue' which was released last year. Since then, on the 17th February 2014, they have released their EP "The Seeds You Sow" which contains 3 songs - 
'The Seeds You Sow', 'Cold Blooded' and 'Messiah'.

(Video above is only available on some platforms so click here to access it if it isn't showing)

It wasn't until I was writing this post that I realised that I have been supporting them from almost the time they were formed and if I haven't, my mum certainly has since she was the one who introduced me to the band, which is unusual as we don't normally like the same sort of music. 
I was also lucky enough to have seen them at the music festival, Belladrum, last year where they played an outstanding set! Also to add to the luck, a family member recently won 4 tickets to see Prides plus another band I seen, but at Wickerman, Public Service Broadcasting (but thats a different blog post) preform on the 31st July through in Glasgow!:-D

I love this band a lot and I reckon a lot of you will also, so please take a couple of minutes to give their Facebook page a like, a follow on twitter, a subscribe on youtube and even check out their blog as they are most certainly a band to look out for!
(links below)


(Video above is only available on some platforms so click here to access it if it isn't showing)


                   Youtube- PridesBand
                                     PridesVevo 




Hope you liked this weeks song choice and I will see you soon with another Music Monday!