The Do’s & Don’ts of Blogging | Sitting In The Clouds

The blogging community is all about helping each other grow. There’s so much competition out there today as people are making it their jobs and young people are following in the footsteps of their idols. We have to remember though when blogging became a thing, no one started out to make it their career, it just happened that social media and the internet became a part of everyday life and brands took advantage of that. People starting out today, yes the majority are beginning their blogs because they have a passion, but quite a few are only starting them to get free things and become “famous” and earn a living. No one should start out with those intentions.

I’ve been blogging for a fair few years now, I used to have another blog before this one, so I’ve been part of the blogging community for a while now. During that time, I’ve learned what works well when trying to grow your audience and what really puts people off. I hope this blog post can help some of you who are just starting out, or even if you’ve been blogging for years, like me, it’s never too late to learn new tips and tricks in this competitive field.



interact

Do Interact but Don’t use the automatic Direct Messages or comment on someones else’s blog to check out your blog if it’s not relevant to the blog post. For example,

Do: “I totally agree, long distance relationships are hard. I’m currently in one and some days are just really tough. I’ve done a blog post about how to cope and what to do on those days.
Don’t: Hey, great post. Here’s mine: http://www.example.wordpress.com

For me personally, it feels like they haven’t taken the time to read your blog and they have headed straight to the comments to try and get hits on their own blog. If someone is interested or drawn to your comment, they will go to your blog no matter what, even other bloggers. Interacting, reading other bloggers posts, following them on social media accounts and getting involved in the community is a great way to get your name and your blog out there. However, don’t overdo it. Don’t just post about your blog on your Twitter or Instagram, the reason most people follow you on those accounts is to get to know you on a more personal level. Get the balance right and use social media to your advantage.

Note// Don’t only make interactions on other blogs, allow interaction on yours. Leave people with a question they can answer in the comments. This is a great way to increase comment numbers. 

milestones

Do enjoy hitting those milestones, whatever they may be, and feel proud of yourself once you’ve hit them. But don’t live for the numbers. Numbers and hits aren’t what’s truly important. They will come eventually and it feels great when they do, but don’t worry if it takes time. You should be blogging because you love it no matter what, and I know it’s hard to not think about the numbers but if you only posting to gain a following, it will show through to your content.

proofread

I’m guilty of the spelling or grammar error in my blog posts once in a while, no one is perfect. But if there are tons of mistakes in your blog posts and it doesn’t flow while you are reading it, it puts people off. I have installed the free version of Grammarly that helps me notice the little mistakes I would have overlooked.

Ensure all the links you put within your post direct your reader to the correct place. Use the “preview” button WordPress offers to see how your blog post will look to others once it’s published. And my top tip before hitting publish is ensuring your comments are enabled.  I personally find it rather irritating when I’ve just read a really good blog post and want to make the blogger aware of it and interact with them and then there’s no place to write a comment. I know it seems like an obvious one but it’s always good to double check that your comments are enabled before posting your blog post.

Just triple and double check before publishing, even if that means posting your content a day later.

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Do make use of free tools. You don’t need to spend loads of money to make your blog look good and grow a following. I have never gone out intentionally to buy things for my blog and think “Oh this will be great for my blog”. There are so many free tools out there you can use. If you need help creating eye-catching headers, canva.com is the place to go. If you need help with your pictures, unsplash.com is a great source of royalty free images (all images today are from unsplash). Also using items from around your house as props is a great way to save the pennies. I use natural lighting for all my images, and use the wooden floorboards in my house, or even some white A3 paper as backdrops. You do not need to spend money to make your blog a success.

have fun

and finally…Do have fun. If you’re enjoying writing and producing your content, it will reflect in the people responding to it. Put your own personal touch to your blog posts, yourself is your own unique selling point, so use your personality to your advantage.



Of course, there is no right or wrong way to blog, if you love it, express your personality through your content, and have fun, you are doing it right and the recognition will come.

I’ll allow this blog post to come full circle. Blogging is all about helping each other out. Do you have any tips, tricks, or advice that I haven’t mentioned? Leave them in the comments. Let’s make this blog post full of useful ideas, links, and advice for others.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel

P.S. I’m only 4 followers away from 300 over at Twitter, so if you fancy following me, it would be highly appreciated.



all images within the blog post today are from unsplash.com, a great website to get professional royalty free images.

Check out my other content

Autumn Book Haul
Pink Pinafore | OOTD
18 Before 2018

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The Liebster Award 2.0 | Sitting In The Clouds

I’ve been back on my blogging game for under a week and I’ve already been nominated for the Liebster award by the lovely Alexa Ceza, which I’m so grateful for. Please go check out her blog as it’s so stunning and her content is amazing.



the rules.jpg> Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their post.
> Answer the 11 questions they asked you.
> Nominate 11 other bloggers, with your own set of 11 questions. (but if you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I can ever think of that many people, so I’ll do as many as I can)
> Tag your chosen 11 bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them as well



the questions.jpg

1 | Why did you start blogging?
This is a very typical question but one everyone always seems to want to know. I started Sitting In The Clouds to get back into blogging, yes I did have another blog. I had stopped blogging due to health reasons (find out here) and it didn’t feel right to come back to my old one, so I restarted my hobby by creating a new and WAY better, if I do say so myself, blog. When I was younger I used to want to be a writer, but like all childhood career dreams, they change. I love the path I’m going down now, but I still really enjoy writing, hence the blog. I was writing an essay for university last year and my tutor said, I can tell you are a blogger due to the laid-back, informal and conversational approach I had..haha! I guess it’s hard to switch between blogging and academic writing.
2 | If you could be any animal which one would you be? and why?
I think it would have to be some sort of bird, not because I love birds, in fact, I’m not a very huge fan of them at all, but I would love the ability to fly. But as a complete opposite, being a sloth, I would be living my dream life…haha!!
3 | Favourite place to travel to?
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know this answer. DISNEYWORLD, hands down my favourite place on this earth.
4 | Pick 2 of your favourite bloggers and why?
I can’t ignore my love for Jess from CopperGarden. I also love Jessica Jade.
5 | What is a one great life lesson you have learned?
Don’t live life through rose-tinted glasses.
6 | Tea or Coffee? and why?
TEA! I hate coffee and to be fair I’m not even a fan of traditional tea anymore, I’ve been turned to a green tea machine…haha!!
7 | What show are you currently watching/into right now?
Strictly Come Dancing. It’s the UK version of Dancing with the Stars if you are American. If you didn’t know, when I was younger I had a HUGE obsession with JLS, Aston, my boy in blue to be exact. He’s on Strictly this year so I’m rooting for him all the way. When Strictly is on in the UK, it takes over your life. It’s on TV every single day, with It Takes Two every weekday, the actual show on Saturday and the results on Sunday.
8 | Pick a great quality about yourself and why?
My optimism and positivity?
9 | What is one blogging tip you would give to other bloggers?
Interact, use hashtags and talk with other bloggers. Get your name out there, there is no harm in promoting yourself and your content, everyone else is.
10| If money wasn’t a factor, what would you be doing right now?
Living in Walt Disney World…next…
11| What is something that makes you really happy? and why?
Just to be different but can I say my workplace? I love designing and being an intern means I learn so much on a daily basis when I’m in the office. I adore everyone I work with, especially my two fellow designers, Kat and Marc, they are like my older siblings.



my questions

1 | Sun or Rain?
2 | Twitter or Instagram?
3 | Single or Double bed?
4 | Paper or Electronic planning?
5 | Your biggest fear?
6 | One thing you want to achieve in the next year?
7 | Morning person or Night owl?
8 | iPhone X (10) too expensive?
9 | Favourite song right now?
10| Do you have a fur friend? Tell me about them.
11| Favourite blog post to read? (lists, tips, beauty, ootds, makeup looks, personal etc)



my nominees

1 | Abi from Abisays.co.uk
2 | Geneva from Genney Darling
3 | Smiling Dreamer
4 | Beth Jones from The Books Are Everywhere
5 | Jess Athorn from Acorn Life and Fitness

I hate that I can ever think of more than like five people, but all five girls have amazing blogs, that you should all go check out…go go go!!



I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did, be sure to give it a like and press that cheeky follow button. Even if I hadn’t nominated you, you are all amazing. Interact with each other in the comments and discover some new blogs to follow.

I love you all and thank you for your everlasting support.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel



5 Youtubers You Should Be Watching
What Happens When Your Dreams Shatter Around You?
30 Before 30

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Autumn Book Haul | Sitting In The Clouds

When you’re a reader, buying books tends to just come along with the package. But it’s more than just spending all your hard earned cash, it’s the excitement of waiting for your new books to arrive and falling in love when you see the cover for the first time…only if it’s pretty of course. 



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It Only Happens In The Movies by Holly Bourne

I fell in love with Holly Bourne’s writing when I discovered her Spinster Girls trilogy, especially Am I Normal Yet? I’m excited to dive into her new story as I’m a sucker for a contemporary book and romance movie so combining the two, I’m hoping to fall head over heels in love with this book.

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Quidditch Through The Ages by JK Rowling

When I saw this little book for only a few pounds on Amazon, I couldn’t say no to completing my Hogwarts Library collection.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I read this beauty of a book earlier this year and fell in love with it. However, I had borrowed it from the library. But since I loved it so much, I knew I needed to add it to my personal library. It’s now been welcomed home and I couldn’t be happier to have access to it whenever I like.

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One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M.McManus

I’ve been hearing quite a few things about this new(ish) release and since it’s October, I thought it would be a quick and fun read for this time of the year. Let’s just hope I actually get round to it before the spookish month of the year is up. It’s dwindling fast already.

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Happy by Derren Brown

I’ll hold my hands up, I’m a lover of fiction and rarely reach for a non-fiction pick. However, I read the blurb of this book by Derren Brown and was intrigued. I don’t think I’ll read this book quickly but more pick it up every so often and read a few pages here and there.

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Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg

Yes, this series is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s a light, fun, read with a heart and tummy fuzzy romance. Girl Online: Going Solo is the third and final book in the series and I’m pleased to say I really enjoyed how it ended. (More thoughts in my October Reading post at the end of the month)

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Moxie by Amy Poehler

I know nothing about this book apart from I’ve seen people raving about it and it’s about a main character starting a feminist revolution in her high school.

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The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

If you haven’t heard of this book, you’ve been living under a rock. And to be honest I feel ashamed that it’s only just reached my hands. Just look at that cover though…gorgeous!

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The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond

I’ve only read one other of Lucy Diamond’s books, One Night in Italy and really enjoyed it. I decided to try another one of her books and who can say no to this beautiful cover?

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The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins

Another book I know literally nothing about…what’s new, haha! The thing is with me is that if it’s a contemporary, romance, there’s only a very low chance that I will dislike the book, therefore it’s a safe bet for me when it comes to purchasing books blindly.

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Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

And finally after ten previous books, the star of the blog post…for me anyway, drum roll, please….TOM HANKS IS AN AUTHOR. Tom Hanks is my favourite actor of all time so this book had to come home with me. And did I mention it was signed? Yes, it’s signed, so now I have my favourite actors autograph. However, not to try and ruin my own excitement, I haven’t actually heard any good things about it, apart from whose blurbed it, which includes Stephen Fry, so that’s one positive. It’s a collection of short stories, which is a format I’ve never read in before so I’m really excited. Hopefully, I can get to it this month.



I don’t know what it is about purchasing eleven books before posting a book haul but it seems to be a sort of trend I’m starting, haha! Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? Any I should prioritise? And finally, did you know Tom Hanks was an author? Let’s chat in the comments. So many thoughts going through my mind, haha!

until next time,
xoxo, rachel



18 Before 2018

Collective Book Haul (10+ Books)

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18 Before 2018 | Sitting In The Clouds

I don’t want to scare you all but we only have 74 days until 2018 will be upon us. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. Sunk in yet? Didn’t think so. The new year has a reputation of being a new start, allowing yourself to become a better you and starting the new year off on the right foot. But how can you do that when you leave your to-do incomplete?

I love a good old list. Therefore writing a list of 18 things I want to complete, start and form a habit of or continue with so my 2018 can have the best possible start, is a great way to keep me accountable so the “new year, new you” can hold true.

(I’ve taken inspiration from Lisa Jacobs from Market Your Creativity for this blog post. Boho Berry, my bullet journal main inspiration has also done this)



1 Yoga – I started doing Yoga at the beginning of the month as a form of relaxation before bed, as well as an added exercise in my daily routine. I’ve been really enjoying it and I hope I can keep up my motivation to do it into the new year.

2 Reach my reading goal – Since becoming an avid reader in 2014, I’ve been setting myself yearly goals of how many books I want to read each year with the help of Goodreads. I set my goal at 50 this year. I’ve currently read 44 so I think I can achieve it as long as a reading slump doesn’t hit me.

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3 Take more pictures – I haven’t been taking many pictures this year and it saddens me. “Photos are a return ticket to moments otherwise gone.” I can’t leave 2017 behind without pictures to remember the year by.

4 Stay on top of university work – I would hate the new year to start of stressed because of the amount of work I have to do, especially seeing as my first submission deadline is just after Christmas. I would hate to be thinking about it and be cramming in last minute work over the Christmas holidays.

Keep up with my blog – YAY for me being back after nearly 2 months. I just hope that my motivation stays for the rest of the year.

6 Custom domain – I’ve hit 1,000 followers, and I still can’t believe. I would love to celebrate with finally getting rid of .wordpress.com out of my site address, but it’s not cheap and being at uni every penny is stretched.Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 17.13.01

7 Continue building my savings account – I have a target in mind but don’t want to share…sorry. Out of my sister and I, I’m the saver and she’s the spender.

8 Appreciate the little things – I’m one for looking at the bigger picture, all the time thinking about the future and how what I’m doing at the minute will affect my life in a days time, a months time and even a years time. I want to start noticing and appreciating the little things. I may start a gratitude log in my bullet journal to assist me.

9 Finish my YouToons Project – If you didn’t know, I’m a graphic design, working part-time in a design studio and studying Graphic Design at a university. Over the summer I started my own little project which I titled “YouToons”. Designing my favourite YouTubers as cartoons. I would love to get this completed by the start of the new year.

Here is a sneak peek at what it may look like. This is Adam Hattan, who is a Disney vlogger and also features in my 5 Youtubers You Should Be Watching

adam hattan cartoon face (copyright)
10 Have a Social Media clear out – Only today my boyfriend messaged me saying he had just unfriend over 600 people he had on Facebook he no longer connected with. This got me thinking about the amount of “friends” I have on Facebook that are just there. I now want to go and unfriend people I no longer speak to. As well as declutter Instagram and Twitter.

11 Sort out my wardrobe – I do this a couple of times a year but I always end up keeping things I know I will never wear as I’m quite a sentimental person. This time around, I want to have a proper sort out, get rid of EVERYTHING I won’t wear anymore.

12 Spend more time with Tom – As I’ve started my second year of university and Tom has increased his work hours to save for his upcoming trip to Vegas, we don’t get to see each other too often. When we do see each other it’s just hanging out at each other’s houses, I would love to have more date nights, more cinema trips, more eating out etc.

13 Volunteer at least once more – I started volunteering for my favourite charity this year and I love it. I would love to do it more before the year is out.

14 Drive less, walk more – Ever since passing my driving test I resort to my car way more than I should. Recently I have been driving but parking further away from my destination so I’m forced to walk more often. I am also walking up all escalators and stairs, rather than lifts now.

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15 Have a social life – I’m an introvert, preferring to stay in and read a book than go out. However, I know I need to step out of my comfort zone and say yes to more outings with friends. It’s harder now all my friends have moved out of home for university but I need to be making more of an effort when they are home.

16 Clear up my skin – I had a period recently where my skin was awful, spots and blemishes all over my chin and forehead. I also got into the habit of popping them, I know…gross!! But I think I’ve found my holy grail product. I no longer have many spots but the scarring is still there.

17 Get my Grandmas edit done – Waaaaaay back in May, my entire family, three generations of us, went to the Cotswold for a family weekend break. It was so much fun. I always film events like these and create an edit afterwards for everyone to enjoy and look back on the great times we had. However, I still haven’t even started my edit for this trip. My excuse is that my computer broke but it’s not good enough. I would love to complete it before Christmas so I can share it with all my on Christmas day.

18 Visit my grandparents in Wales again – My grandparents aren’t getting any younger, so as a family, my aunties and uncles included, take it in turns to go up and visit them for a weekend or so. I usually go with my parents when they head down but I haven’t in a while now, so I’ll make sure I go back down once more before the year is up.



Phew, I thought that blog post was never going to end…haha!! I congratulate you if you got to the end. Have you got any goals that you want to achieve by the end of the year? Are you inspired to set some? Let’s chat in the comments.

Thank you for all your kind words recently, they truly mean the world.

until next time,
xoxo, rachel 



What Happens When Your Dreams Shatter Around You?

Five Hundred and Eleven Days Later…

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Five Hundred and Eleven Days Later… | Sitting In The Clouds

On the 22nd of May 2016, I sat down at my desk, tapped along my keyboard, wrote a few hundred odd words and hit publish, not knowing where my blogging journey would take me. 511 days later I’ve reached 1,000 followers. 1,000 people have come across my blog, read my posts about god knows what, liked, commented, shared my passions, followed me, and I’ve even had some shares.

I know I’ve been off my blogging game recently but life gets in the way sometimes and I will have a life update blog post coming soon because I don’t want to get distracted as to why I’m writing this specific blog post, which is to THANK you! To thank each and every one of you who have followed me via WordPress, subscribed by email or hit follow on my Twitter, where I tend to just fangirl about silly obsessions of mine, (just to note, Jeffery Dean Morgan, Negan from The Walking Dead, liked my tweet today, like OMFG!!) 

I never started my blog for the numbers, gain a following, or get messages from people saying they miss my blog posts. I started it to share my passions and write about what I love and although my blog direction has changed over the last year and a half, people have continued to support my content, no matter what I post, which I’m so grateful for. I have met some amazing people along the way who I now consider friends, and reaching this milestone has given me the motivation to get my blog back up and running.

Sitting In The Clouds is officially reopen for business.

Thank you for your continued support and here’s to another 511 days, even if 500 of those days I’m on a hiatus…haha!!



until next time,

xoxo, rachel 

Read my first ever blog post here

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