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5 things you should try to help you grow…

To Grow, be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect to go from zero to hero overnight, even globally known bloggers and influencers have had to have their game face on while they grow and get noticed. It’s so disheartening when bloggers post things like ‘fed up with the lack of traffic’ and ‘think I might quit blogging’. As with any business success takes time and there’s no elevator. You have got to take the stairs and then you’ve got to go up and down the biggest hill before you even get close. Be patient. It’ll al be worth it. Just make sure that you’re constantly growing by working constantly. Don’t expect some sort of superstardom if you post once every blue moon. You have to put the effort in, be patient and trust your hustle. It’ll all be worth it in the end.

Experiment

If you’re posting the same kind of posts with very little traction perhaps try something different, change your style up. Create videos. Write about something different for a little bit of variety. Only using Twitter to promote your posts? Why not try Facebook Groups as well? Make sure you’re accessible and discoverable. If you’re doing the same thing day in and day out and you see very little growth things have to change. Stop thinking it’s a god given right and you should be entitled to traffic. You have to work for it, simply by trial and error. Then when you find what works. Do more of it!

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Make your blog a priority

If you’re after serious success, don’t be offended when we tell you, you have to put your site first. If you are taking this whole blogging ‘stuff’ seriously and want great things to happen because of your site then be prepared to work, be prepared to grow. Hang on though you just said be patient? Patience is great, but not if you’re standing still. Constantly be pushing forward, doing a little every day will soon add up. It’ll propel you into the direction you want to go. Make a list, create a strategy, keep assessing your strategy and your goals. You have to treat your blog as a business if you want to make it into a profitable business or just a successful hobby. Think like a business owner. If you owned a shop and didn’t turn up you’d sharp go out of business. Blogging works the same way.

Post what you want

Stop being controlled by others, want to post about contentious issues, issues really close to home or even voice an opinion? Do it. Brands and readers love when bloggers and influencers step outside the norm and shake off that ‘cookie cutter’ stereotype. Make sure you write what’s true to yourself. Keep your integrity and write from your heart. Regardless if you’re a hobby blogger or a full-time blogger writing for a living you will only grow by being honest and true. People can see through your falseness. They don’t want to read the same content – make sure if you want to write about something you voice that topic loud and proud. People will respect you for your honesty, just remember to stay away from click bait!

Promote

Promote, promote, promote. We said it before, you aren’t entitled to the traffic, work for those page views. Yes, you may think it’s unfair if you post something similar to somebody else and they go viral, you don’t know their story. Don’t compare their chapter 11 to your chapter 1. Just keep plugging away. Get into a habit of having a professional statement for when people ask what you do which is something like ‘I am a full/part-time digital marketer, I help to influence people’s decisions through writing on my blog/online publication’ – people will be intrigued by this statement they’ll ask you more, which will lead to traffic and free publicity. Promote on Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest – promote wherever and whenever you can. If you don’t talk about your site, how will you ever grow? Be proud and shout about it from the rooftops!

Do you have any other great tips for our ELLEfluencers to help them grow? We would love to hear your views!

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Is your blog illegal? What you need to know…

It is considered illegal under Consumer Protection law if you don’t disclosure sponsored or paid for content, this applies to both the UK and US. Currently, there are efforts being made to step-up enforcement for those guilty of non-disclosure.

You may have seen other bloggers and influencers talking about the guidelines and recommendations to follow. In the UK currently, the enforcement is upheld by the Competition and Markets Authority (CAM), whilst over in the USA, these matters are dealt with by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You may have seen a few weeks ago the FTC sent out a letter to a long list of Influencers and Celebrities about their non-disclosure, you can see how many you know here.

Back to being compliant, the UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) set out in their ‘Code of Conduct’ to help both brands and bloggers and influencers to understand the haze of legal requirements for promoted posts.

There are 5 instances in which sponsored content is required to be disclosed. This helps readership and following to distinguish between the content that has been published specifically by influencers and that which has been paid for by brands.

Types of content that requires disclosed

Paid content is typically paid in the form of advertising, sponsorship or gifting:
Advertising = A brand has complete editorial control in return for a fee paid towards the influencer
Sponsorship = A brand has partial editorial control in return for a fee paid towards the influencer
Gifting = A brand provides goods or exchanges with a service in return for content in which the influencer maintains full editorial control.

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A disclosure statement is extremely straightforward to place and is easily replicated across all content. We suggest creating a full disclosure page for your site with the full terms of your disclosure. Here are a few examples of the types of statements that are legally required at the beginning of all paid content to be compliant with the regulations.

Disclaimer: This item was provided complimentary by [INSERT BRAND], all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.
Disclaimer: This stay was provided complimentary by [INSERT BRAND], all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by [INSERT BRAND], all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.
Disclaimer: This meal was complimentary by [INSERT BRAND’], all views are our own. Read more about disclosure here.

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In order to be compliant, you should clearly identify which kind of endorsement you have received for the content such as ‘ This is sponsored post’ or ‘The brand gifted me this product in exchange for a fair and honest review’.

You can label content across social media with the #Spon or #Ad. Across blog posts, you should clearly stipulate that the content is an ‘Advertisement’ or ‘Sponsored Content’/

Is your site compliant with the regulations? What are your thoughts on disclosure? Do you think influencers should have to disclose paid for content or not? Let us hear your views below.

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12 Tips To Cure Writer’s Block

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”
–Charles Bukowski

Writer’s block is incredibly frustrating, sometimes you sit down to write and you end up looking at cute GIFs of puppies eating ice cream, two hours goes by and you’re suddenly in the middle of procrastination hell. You condemn yourself to writer’s block and then procrastinate a little more about having writer’s block. We get it! We hear you! So today we’re sharing our Top 12 Tips to Cure Writer’s Block.

Shut down your MacBook

Seriously, you’re just going to waste more time by sitting thinking about thinking. It’s overrated. Shut down the gadgets and do something repetitive that requires very little thought, like wash the car, or household chores. Give your brain a break and your writer’s block will soon become a distant memory.

writer's block - tips to overcome and get rid of it - ellefluence blogger outreach programme

Go for a Walk

Fresh air is good for the spirit and the mind. If you’re sat inside writing all day you’re going to end up with a stuffy environment, so lace up, wrap up and blow the cobwebs away. If you’re lucky enough to live beside the seaside or in the countryside take your camera you might catch some awesome shots which can be used for inspiration.

Exercise

Nothing gets your blood pumping like a little exercise. When the blood starts flowing to your brain magical things happen. Go for a run to clear your mind, some of the world’s greatest ideas have come from run headspace. Just you, the fresh air and pounding the pavement make for a great starting point for inspiration, keep your fitness levels up whilst getting rid of your writer’s block. Everyone’s a winner


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Switch up the Environment

Perhaps you’re feeling uninspired from sitting in the same place all day every day. Why not grab your essentials and head to a cafe, people watch. Feeling lonely and require a stimulating conversation to help grow your content bank? Try co-working, chatting and meeting new people could help inspire ideas.

Listen to music

When you listen to music the world becomes a better place right? Turn everything off and turn the music up. Loud. Let the lyrics take you on a voyage of discovery and inspiration. Let it all out, shake that tail feather and throw those hands in the air too while you’re at it!

Spend time with intellectuals

If you’re the most intelligent in the room, get out! Surround yourself with people who inspire and can challenge you. Spark interesting debates, challenge their views if they differ to yours. Discuss things you’re interested in or even just topics in the news. Relight your passion and the ideas will come freely.

Mind map

Sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pen, start creating a mind map of ideas, topics you want to cover, people who inspire you. Your dreams and visions. Give it ten minutes and watch the paper come to life with ideas for posts and you’ll forget you ever had writer’s block.

Stop writing for your readers

Sometimes you’ve just got to write from the heart. Not necessarily your niche, just write about a topic that you need to get off your chest. Perhaps you’ve been through a bad breakup, grieving the loss of a loved one. Want to write about your experiences with anxiety. Go for it. For once write for you.

Mix up your routine

Do you have the same routine every single day? Perhaps this is making you feel uninspired? Try going to the gym at a different time to normal, sit down to write at the opposite time of day. Just mix it up a little. The change in routine will help shake up your brain’s usage and will inspire you to see things from a different perspective.




Reread old blog posts

Go back to the start of your writing career, find your first couple of blog posts and pick one, see how far you’ve come. Then re-write your post from the content you’ve already written. Et Voila new post.

Set a timer

Write in short bursts against the clock. Set yourself say 5 minutes to write 300 words, just write as it flows then edit after. When you challenge yourself with writing against the clock you’ll find that your flow just happens as you are focusing on the countdown and not procrastinating about what to write.

Eliminate distractions

This is one of the most obvious things to do. Turn off your phone, power down the internet. Stay off social media. The less time you spend being distracted the more focus you have. The more focus generally equates to completed posts. It really is that simple.

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Ask for help

Don’t be afraid. Why not ask your friends or peers for their opinion? See what their views are on certain topics. Can they counter-argue the debate between themselves which will give you meaty content to work with? Why not create a poll on topics that you’re interested in writing to see which will perform the best. You could end up with some new ideas from their views.

There you have it, our 12 tips for overcoming writer’s block. Have you got any other tips? We’d absolutely love to hear them, drop a comment below with your favourite way to beat the dreaded writer’s block.




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urban decay jean_michel_basquiat_event_debenhams_newcastle_ellefluence_connecting_bloggers_and_influencers_with_brands Blog

ELLEfluence Event: Urban Decay John-Michel Basquiat Collection

Last Thursday we hosted our second Urban Decay event for our tribe of beauty bloggers and influencers.

If you’re not familiar with Urban Decay they twist the norm and push every single boundary there is. With their out there daring colours and a promise to their adoring fans of a cruelty-free brand. There’s no wonder that this brand, now under the L’Oreal umbrella, is a beauty fanatic’s favourite.

When tasked with the duty of arranging the Debenhams Newcastle, Urban Decay’s concession brand new launch of the Jean-Michel Basquiat 9 item limited edition collection we knew that our ELLEfluencers would be in for a treat.

Arriving in their hoards, the beauty influencers were greeted with a twist on ‘champagne on arrival‘, instead greeted with a very Urban Purple. A delicious purple vodka cocktail and accompanying none alcoholic Purple Elixir for those not wanting to sip on an alcoholic beverage, all to be on brand with Urban’s colour scheme.

After collecting a drink and checking in our ELLEfluencers took their seats and chatted between the other influencers. As the tutorials began, the room fell silent. In awe, ELLEfluencers watched as the new collection was showcased from the professionally trained makeup artists.

Thinking about all of our ELLEfluencers at our Urban Decay event

With three new palettes, three lipsticks and three eyeliners their eyes lit up as they discovered the whole collection. This was all good and well for those located in Newcastle, what about the rest of our global ELLEfluencers? Not wanting to leave them out they were able to log on for a live tutorial from the comfort of their own home.

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After the demonstration of how to create bold looks and neutral looks on all skin types the ladies joining us for the evening were then split into smaller groups. They were then able to discover the new collection hands on. Swatching and taking fabulous images for their online publications and blogs was a necessity.

Whilst this was going on in the background, passionate makeup artist and undoubtedly star of the show, Michael, joined our online influencers watching from home. Talking about the products in depth to give them a launch day run down and first look at products that had launched worldwide on this day.

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Providing a 20 minute tutorial including a question and answer session, where our ladies asked a plethora of questions we were able to target further afield for a greater global reach.

As the swatches of colours filled up the influencer’s forearms they headed downstairs to the counter with their wish list in their minds (and notes on their phone) they began to trial other products. With lip toppers from another newly launched collection being the most popular choice for the evening it was a very successful evening for both Urban Decay, Newcastle and our ELLEfluencers.

If you’re a brand looking for exposure for your brand, drop us an email brands@ellefluence.com
Influencers, want to attend event launches and receive other great opportunities sign up so we have all your details here

Photo Credit: David Brand Photography