New Year, New Blog

Happy New Year! Hope you all have enjoyed the holidays and are looking forward to a new year. In November I said I wanted to revamp my blog in the new year and here it is as I have had the time over the holidays to set everything up, make the necessary changes and sort everything out so it’s up today. It’s nothing dramatic as my skills are not exactly amazing in the first place but everything has now changed over, although it has been changing over the past week or so as I have no idea if you can schedule these changes.

So I’ve changed a few bits and not others, taking in mind feedback and advice I have received and tried to take them into account when making the change. I just wanted to revamp it all, try to make things look better and just slightly more professional and proper. So hopefully you like it but if there are any more things that you wish for me to do just let me know and I am happy to do it.

After the excitement of blogmas and blogging every other day which was bloody manic and took a lot of planning and scheduling in order to complete posts in time. Commuting and working a full time job as well as fitting in seeing friend, family and my boyfriend over the holiday period was just insane and I credit people that regularly manage all of these and post more regularly than I do. I will now return to blogging twice a week and back to uploading blog posts every Tuesdays and Fridays at 5pm GMT time. Twice a week is enough for me I feel its regular posts and provides enough content for my blog yet it isn’t overwhelming and I feel as though I have enough to say and post for twice a week. It’s a case of finding a balance that works for you.

So my next post will Tuesday 5th January with my favourite products of 2015, and on Friday 8th I will upload the January sales haul with stuff I’ve picked up on the sales from Boxing Day and over the start of January. So a bit of old and new which feels right for the start of the New Year really. Anyway enough rambling, the blog and twitter have been updated and everything is consistent including my Instagram and I think I’ve hit a good mix. Right shut up, Gwen, enjoy your new year.

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Blog Revamp, Have Your Say

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Hi guys, so I am currently in the middle of working on a whole blog revamp I just feel as though it is time to give it a bit of a refresh and just make it look a bit better. Here’s where you come in, I want to know what types of things you want to see on a blog? What type of things do you like aesthetically and what don’t you, after all a blog isn’t just for me it’s for you guys too, as after all blogging is for information, entertainment and leisure purposes?

I have my colour scheme in mind and a few ideas to revamp my header, I know I need to redo my picture as it is getting a little bit dated. So what do you want to see, non-main text headers, a different font style, are there too many headers etc. Let me know what you like on a blog and what you don’t and I will bare this in mind when revamping it although with doing it myself and my skills being so-so I am always learning in the terms of adding new things to my WordPress, but it’s always good to learn new things. So let me know what you want to see?

I am giving myself plenty of time to get things into motion and have decided I will launch the new blog look at the start of 2016, a new year and a fresh new look for my blog just feels right. So let me know what sort of things you like in a blog, or don’t like, appearance wise and I will consider these when doing mine.

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How to Write a Blog Post?

How I Write Blog Posts

So we have all had those moments where we have an amazing idea but have no idea how to put pen to paper so to speak, over the past year I have developed a tried and tested method for writing a fool proof blog post. Earlier in the year I should you how I got my blog organised, which you can check out here, this starts with that and takes it that step further. So here is how I go about writing my blog post, this was all written and illustrated around when I was writing my morning routine post which you can check out on my page.

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First comes first I start with the idea and look about planning it out, what content do I want and what do I need to do to achieve this such as research. This can vary depending on the type of blog post I am creating a haul post takes very little thought just a little bit of organising the items into sections to take pictures and structure the blog post e.g. organising by shop or type of product. When looking at reviews it takes a little bit more work, I look to take notes while using the product and looking at how it wears throughout the day over the course of a week. Taking notes and orgainsing points and paragraphs for a post has made writing so much easier considering I used to do this all the time for essays but never thought to do this with the blog post. For example with the morning routine post I started by jotting down everything I do in a morning in order elaborating on each point if needs be to remind myself what needs to be mentioned.

Then I will build up the post, I aim to just sit down and write solidly but I always like to have something on in the background. This varys sometimes if I need to work a lot of the pictures or do a lot of photo editing I will opt for spotify, where I listen to Man Overboard radio so I get a nice mix of music. Other times I will but all my subscriptions to the watch later playlist and watch my wierd mix of channels from Achievement Hunter to Fluer de Force, or sometimes I watch a bit of The Simpsons always a classic.

Appropriate TAG’s for your post is highly important for new people finding your posts and blog, so I note down important possible TAG’s as I go along such as brands and related key words. I find this way better than trying to think of all of the keywords at the end. Its basically doing anything that can make the whole thing simpler and much more efficient.

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Once the post is finished I move onto the pictures, sometimes the pictures are taken first but the editing is always left until after. If I am taking photos after the post has been written I sometimes make notes of what I need to take photos off for example with the morning routine I listed everything i needed to group within each picture. I use picmoney as it is free (you can pay for additional tools) but its great for basic editing and collages which is all I need really. So then I organise the pictures, upload them to wordpress and name them all accordingly so they come up within a google search result. Once the pictures have been added to the post I check through everything and make sure I’m happy with everything.

As I go along I tick everything off on my tick chart and schedule the post according to my plan, trying to ensure variety with the content of the posts while still ensuring regular quality content. After scheduling the post to wordpress I will hop over to HootSuite where I schedule a few tweets to go out around it to alert people of the new post and make the most of hash tags ect. to make everything more searchable. Then I can sit back and relax and wait for it to post, and see the reaction.

So how do you guys write posts? Do you have a general structure or do you just go for it?

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And the winner is

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So a big thank you to each and everyone of you who entered my giveaway to win a MAC lipstick of your choice. It has now closed and I am ready to announce the lucky winner. In order to decide the winner I listed all of the entries on excel and then used a random number generator in order to decide the winner as I feel as though it is the fairest way to decide the winner.

So drum roll please, the winner is . . .  the lovely Alice from Girl About Town, congrats. I have already messaged you, or at least attempted to to sort out the prize. Thank you to every one that entered and to those who didn’t win I am considering doing another giveaway sometime soon so don’t be too disappointed.

Lots of Love

Gwenllian Branwen

Things I’ve Learnt in a Year of Blogging

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So I have been blogging with a focus on beauty blogging for a year now and I feel as though my perceptions of the blogging world, what makes a good blog and how I view the world of beauty has changed. So I thought to celebrate reaching the one year mark I will look at how far I have come and what I have learnt.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

Before and at the start of blogging I thought picture taking was a thing of just adding a bit extra but really a good picture can really make a review. Poor quality pictures, reflections of the picture taker and a messy background were things I hated in others peoples blogs so why should I have them in mine. So although I admit my picture taking is nowhere near perfect sometimes falling victim to non natural lighting or having to brighten up an image I feel like I am slowly getting there. Some are better than others but I am hoping to slowly improve over time.

Don’t Follow the Hype

Before blogging I always got caught up in the hype a lot easier just assuming the blogging community knew something that I didn’t and this meant what they said was right. It is so easy to get caught up in clever marketing and jump on the band wagon but it is always important to think that products don’t work for everyone the same. For example think of the Benefit Rollar Lash and the buzz around it, I tried it got the sample with elle and it worked very well although the next day I used my primark lash and curl and found it worked almost as well. Yeah the roller lash is good but not amazing or a holy grail like some people think. Read the reviews and think for yourself is it worth it for you don’t feel pressured to follow the hype.

Designer is Not Always Best, But Neither is Drugstore

Before blogging I used to scoff at people who wasted money on designer makeup, that was until I discovered and tried high end make up myself with beautiful lipsticks and the creamy urban decay eye shadows I found some of my favourite products. I still love my drugstore mascaras and everything its just I finally understand the want and love of high end makeup in its irresistible packaging. What I am trying to say is you can have both and I think in a complete collection you may need to have a bit of both and some of us do have tight budgets, so we have to only splurge on what we think is worth it. Sometimes designer is worse than its drugstore counter part just think about what you wish to spend your hard earned cash on.

Mix It Up

This is something I want to do slightly more than I do already, that although I have a primarily beauty blog it is nice to mix things up a little bit. We all have things that make us different and although we all love beauty we all have other things we do too. I love knowing more about the person behind the blog and really we all have so much to offer, sometimes non beauty posts are more interesting. So hopefully I will continue to do this more as time goes on.

Running a Blog Takes Time and Effort

When I started I never really thought how much work a blog could be, I just thought oh snap a quick pictures and write a few words and boom your done. As I mentioned before a good picture is important, good lighting, placement and thinking everything through thoroughly before you can even consider editing and uploading photos. Then you have to plan what you want to write, ensuring you say something important and possibly insightful especially in a review these things don’t just happen in a 20 minute writing session. I’ve found sticking to my schedule that I set in January is useful, two posts a week was and still is something I can fit around work and life and ensures hopefully better quality content. Posting loads can weaken content but barely at all can damage your following and you’re creative streak, I have pages of ideas and just refer to it if I am low on ideas

Even after writing you still have to pay attention to social media, which I have to admit is still and area I have to work on. It is always just something to have an area you know you need to work on so if you have any tips let me know.

So what has blogging taught you? What makes you blog and what do you want to work on with your blog?

Lots of Love,

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

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So here’s is the long awaited giveaway which I promised to celebrate my one year of blogging, lets get into it. With a huge majority vote the prize will be an item from MAC. For the prize you can pick your very own MAC lipstick if you really do not like lipstick but wish to enter we can discuss and equivalent prize in its place from mac, maybe a blush or something. I will also make this giveaway international although I am unsure as to if I will continue to do this in future depending on cost and this is out of my own pocket.

To Enter You Must:

1) Follow my blog.

2) Comment Below.

You can also have additional entries from:

1) Reblogging the post (+2 entries).

2) Follow me on twitter (+1 entry).

3) Follow me on instagram (+1 entry)

Each person can have up to five entries in the draw, the more you do the more likely you are to win. Also just in case I might miss it comment below if you choose to do any of the additional entries so I can double check each one of these. The competition will close on 11:59pm GMT on Thursday 18th June so you have two weeks, entries after this point will no longer count.

I wish you all the best of luck, so happy entering and may the odds every be in your favor *wink*.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

One Year of Blogging

So today if official one year since I started blogging which I started upon moving out of my second year student house (which you can read here), before I embarked on some 117 days of daily blogging to fill up my summer. It was something that I really wanted to do but I was never fully sure I could commit to but I managed it I’m still here a year later with so many ideas an organised schedule and nearly very nearly 150 followers. It doesn’t matter how big or small you’re blog it, some peoples have grown quicker but I still cannot believe that many people are interested in what I have to say and looking at the stats it is world wide it fascinates me how small the world is within the blogging community where it is so simple to share combined passions with every one.

Later this week I will announce my giveaway, how it will work ect. and the prizes in celebration of reaching the one year milestone. Just my way of saying thank you to each and every one of you and hopefully once entering the real world after graduation this is something I will be able to keep up with it. So keep your eyes peeled . . .

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

Decide your giveaway prizes now . . .

Just one week left to vote for what prize you want to see in my one year of blogging giveaway so don’t forget to vote, the most popular will be taken into account and will be the brand in which the giveaway prize will come from. So just vote for what you fancy the most and let me know below:

The giveaway will be announced the end of next week.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xox

Getting My Blog Organised

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Hey Guys, so a while back I announced a new schedule for my blog as part of my getting organised in my life and blog. So I thought I’d show you how I’ve got organised and keeping on top of things.

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Hey Guys, so a while back I announced a new schedule for my blog as part of my getting organised in my life and blog. So I thought I’d show you how I’ve got organised and keeping on top of things.

So first up is actually organising posts, I list out the dates and then decide what posts are going when with the last post of the month obviously being reserved for monthly favourites posts. I’m aiming to post twice a week, on Tuesday and Friday, then additional posts depend on how much time I have and if I have something to say that’s time dependant. The idea from the tick list is what I’d seen Lilly Pebbles show on a vlog and its a great idea so you can make sure everything’s done.

So essentially I write what post is ready for that date and then go through the list, the best thing is that nothing has to be done in order I can look and do photos when I have good lighting and do 4/5 posts worth of  photos and with the tick chart I know they are there. The tick categories I have are writing, pictures, tags, links and social media, which covers everything especially as I tend to forget social media. This year I decided to get to get HootSuite and its so convenient and ideal for scheduling tweets (follow me here *wink face*) while sitting and scheduling a few posts is great.

It just helps keep everything in order and if I can see it laid out over a page its easier to keep everything planned and on schedule.

Next thing is keeping up with content so I dedicated a few pages to it and probably many more as the year goes on. I just feel like its best to note it down.

First up I have 3 pages for monthly favourites with a small sticky note per month. The small size is so I have keep the number of items low it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and put everything you’ve used in a monthly favourites. Its also handy for looking back at the end of the year for yearly favourites as I can also note reoccurring favourites that I may not wish to post about all the time.

After that I have a few pages of post ideas where I can note down everything I come up with that I can check out another day. Hopefully preventing writers block, unless the writers blocks lasts weeks. Even if you don’t plan out to such extent noting down ideas somewhere is well worth doing.

And finally I have notes for reviews, here’s the notes for my smash box review the rest of the page is filled with yet unwritten reviews. Therefore I can see initial reactions I had when it comes yo writing my reviews as opinions can change over a few weeks of use and its fairly helpful. I’m currently trying out a few primers and mascaras.

So that’s how I got myself organised if you have any more questions just let me know.

Love

Gwenllian Branwen

xxx

Scheduling Announcement

Hi everyone,
So with a new year I told myself I’d be better organised with every aspect of my life so I’ve come up with a proper schedule for my blog. Therefore from now on new posts will go up every Tuesday and Friday at 5pm (GMT). In doing this and sticking to a schedule it hopefully means that posts are still regular while keeping a quality of content that I’m happy with. Basically it should be better all round.

I hope to keep to this schedule and if it changes I will hope to let you know. Also here’s a mini poll in which I’m interested to know what content you wish to see, so I’d be glad to hear your feedback.

Also I’m soon going to reach 150 followers at this point I am planning to do a giveaway with something like Mac or Benefit type products. Watch this space.

Lots of love,
Gwenllian Branwen