Hey, loves! Hope you’re all excited on this lovely Wednesday! After all, we’re officially halfway through the week and that’s something to be celebrated. For today’s post, I wanted to continue The Blog Chat series and answer some of the questions I didn’t get to in The Blog Chat: Free Photo Editing Apps, How to Engage with other Bloggers, and More! In this second installment of the series, I’ll be covering some graphic design tips, other social media platforms you should be on, how to feel more comfortable in front of the camera, and technology you should invest in for your blog! Whether you want to read through all of these, or focus on one specific topic, I hope any of these tips are helpful to you! Let’s get to it!
Simple Graphic Design Tips to Follow (No Matter What)
I’ve done a very similar post about this topic in the past, called Creative Tips from a Graphic Designer! (Tricks to Create an Aesthetically Pleasing Composition). So check that out for more information about how to create a beautiful design or photograph. However, there are specific points when it comes to blogging that you should always be doing, or not at all!
- STAY AWAY from the neon colors when putting together a new blog or website! There was a time and place for neon, and let’s leave it back in the 2000’s. Bright colors with no cohesiveness will make your blog look cheap and unprofessional (just being honest).
- Never, and I mean NEVER use any sort of over stylized font. By that I mean no chalkboard fonts, letters with too many curly q’s at the end points, and don’t even get my started on Comic Sans. It is a graphic designer’s absolute nightmare to see Comic Sans anywhere on a page. Some serif fonts can be beautiful for blog post titles or even as logos. However in my experience and in my own taste, I tend to lean towards a sans-serif font for most things (especially long paragraphs).
- Don’t be too repetitive aesthetically. Here’s an example: some web design templates allow for for social media icons in the menu bar or the sidebar. A smart graphic designer would chose one or the other. Having social media icons in multiple locations on one page can get overwhelming and is simply not logical. I personally have my social media links on the left, which move with the user as they scroll and at the end of my blog posts, which are on a different page.
- Don’t be afraid of white space! Ahh, the golden rule for all graphic designers. I’ve learned from experience that LESS IS ALWAYS MORE! When I was first starting out with art, I thought every small space needed to be filled with something. This is totally wrong. Most of the time a design will look much more sophisticated and thought out if you allow for white space (or in more simple terms, empty space). Don’t be afraid to throw in some simpler photos in your blog posts to compliment the more intricate ones.
Other Social Media Platforms You Should Be Engaging On
Alright so, we all know Instagram is all the rage right now. Which of course, Instagram seems to be growing in popularity everyday and there’s good reason for that. It’s a great way to support your blog posts through Instagram story promotion, Instagram Lives, IGTV, and so much more. However, it’s never smart to stay on one platform alone. If you’re only using WordPress, or only active on Instagram, EXPAND YOUR REACH SIS! The internet can be sketchy and you never know when there will be a glitch in the system (and yes, that has happened). Not only that, there are so many positives to being active on many other platforms. I’m going to go through each platform separately for this section of The Blog Chat!
- Twitter: Okay I’m going to be super honest with you guys here. I never used to understand Twitter. I never got super involved with it, even with a personal account. I simply didn’t understand the Twittersphere and why I should get involved specifically for my blog. However, about a year ago I decided to bite the bullet and actually put some effort into it. Wow, was I bummed I hadn’t done that sooner. The main reason I try to be as active on Twitter is because of the loving, positive community. I can honestly say I’ve met some of the nicest bloggers from Twitter. They only lift each other up, and it’s one of the best ways to network and get your name out there. Collaborations and friendships are everything when blogging, not to mention it feels great to speak with those who are doing similar things online!
- Tumblr: I’ve said this a couple times on social media, but I personally still get a lot of inspiration from Tumblr. Although it may not be as popular as it used to be, I love adding photos to my page once in a while and getting some photography ideas. Personally, my Tumblr page is completely my aesthetic and what I want to aim for with my Instagram. In terms of aesthetics, you can’t go wrong with Tumblr and I think it’s extremely underrated. Even when I was a graphic design major in college, I would find TONS of inspo from Tumblr for all of my projects!
- Facebook: In order to have an Instagram business profile, you must create a Facebook page for your blog/company. I wish this wasn’t the case, but that’s one of the requirements. I’ll admit I don’t keep up with my Facebook much anymore, but it is one more platform that will allow you to grow. I will try to put all my blog posts onto Facebook with a short description for each.
- YouTube: Moving over to this platform is quite a big undertaking. Filming, editing, and posting takes a lot more time than finishing a blog post. That’s not to say it’s not worth it though. With YouTube, your followers can easily see your real personality and connect with you on that deeper level. Plus, developing skills in Final Cut Pro or even iMovie is a great asset to any professional résumé!
The main point I want to express for this section is: you must expand yourself in order to grow. Is it hard to keep up with so many platforms? Of course. It it completely worth it to try and grow while you learn? Absolutely! I promise staying on one single platform will only deter you from future goals, babes!
How to Feel More Comfortable in Front of the Camera for Blog Photos
I’ll admit to you guys that this is something I never stop working on. As a kid, my mom had me involved in baby modeling for brands like Old Navy, Disney, etc. You’d think I would be very comfortable in front of the camera given my history in the past. It actually is quite a difficult thing for me though. With that being said, I have some tips that have personally helped me become more comfortable in front of the camera and will undoubtedly help YOU!
- Look up some of your favorite Instagrammers/Bloggers. Research some of the poses they’re using to accentuate the best parts of them. Every person has something beautiful about them. The trick is to find the best way to show that! It’s all about body positivity and loving how you want to pose. Simply standing there in front of the camera is easy, but it won’t always give you the best composition or excite your readers. Finding cool poses on Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram will help you and give you some inspiration!
- This is going to sound crazy, but I promise it will help your confidence in front of the camera. Practice in front of a mirror! Throw on that fabulous outfit that you’re about to photograph and try some flattering poses in front of the mirror FIRST. There might be some specific poses that look amazing on you, but might not work for others. The key is simply to practice and find what makes you feel amazing!
- Take photos with your friends who are also interested in blogging or photography. Everything is a little bit easier if you have an enthusiastic photographer. Someone who can instruct you a bit with your poses or where to look. We all need a little help sometimes and it’s encouraging to have a supportive person around that wants you to succeed as well!
Technology Worth Investing in For Your Blog
In my previous Blog Chat post, I explained to you guys how you can start a blog with the simple technology you already have. No expensive equipment required, just easy ways to get started. However, if you’ve been blogging for a few years and want to step up your game, there’s a few things you need!
Firstly, invest in a nice camera! This is not only great for blogging and will improve your posts 10 fold, it’s also amazing for any exciting events coming up in your life. You won’t regret investing in a great camera, and it will make you look much more professional in the eyes of a company you want to collaborate with. I recommend a Nikon or a Canon. Personally, I wish I would have gone with a Canon because they are also amazing filming cameras. Not to say that Nikons don’t have great qualities as well, they just aren’t the best when it comes to making YouTube videos.
Secondly, and this might be a fairly obvious one, Mac computers are some of the best in the game. I’ve only owned a Mac and they’ve been the perfect tool for blogging. They are very easy to use and in my opinion, a bit better than a PC. Especially when it comes to being creative and using the Adobe Creative Suite for graphic design, a Mac is the best and smartest computer to use. While they are quite expensive, they are completely worth saving up for!
Thirdly, get yourself some extra camera equipment! I touched upon this a bit in one of my Blogmas posts: Best Christmas Gifts for Bloggers (Blogmas Day 1). Basically, one of the best ways to take outfit photos on your own is to use a tripod. There are some very cheap tripod options on Amazon, and I will link them here. Depending on what you want, you can get some for very cheap, or even a more high end tripod. Another amazing piece to invest in is a ring light. You’ve seen plenty of YouTubers use these and it’s because they are AMAZING! In my case, when I was working full time, I only had time to film or photograph at night or on weekends. When the sun wasn’t out, I was still on my hustle and needed to create content. Having a ring light completely solved this problem and allowed me to photograph at any time of day or night. I strongly suggest investing in one, especially if you’re interested in starting YouTube. I’ll leave a link to some Amazon ring lights here. I personally purchased the Neewer brand ring light and it came with tons of great features.
Let me know your favorite part about this post and how you’re enjoying the series! Feel free to ask me any blog related questions in the comments below. Whether that’s about collaborations, engagement groups, or even the best ways to grow online! I’ll be answering all of them! Have a fantastic rest of your day and I’ll chat to you all soon. xx