Ember’s Blogging Tips And Tricks.

Previously posted @ Paper Dolls.

I am working on adding one link to all my tip blogs so this is getting re posted to the main blog. sorry for the re post if you’ve read it already.

WARNING, THIS IS A VERY LONG READ!

I started these notes because I love to help people. I thought about doing some classes and I might still! But for now friends please take a look, maybe learn a new trick or two!
  *Or leave a comment and teach me some stuff!*
I will add to it as new ideas come about so If you have an idea I’ve missed, leave me a comment of PM me in world   Ember Adored.
1.  Get Organized! –  
This is how I organize blog items in my inventory.          
  • Create a bunch of new folder in your inventory.                                         
  • Title the first folder… ### BLOG
  • Create sub folders with DESIGNER NAME.  
  • Place these folders inside the BLOG folder. 

  If you blog events, you know they are time sensitive. I Label my event folders like this.

   ###EVENTNAME. This way it sticks to the top of the main BLOG folder.
  Your folders should look like this.  
  •   ###BLOG The pound signs are there so this folder sits at the top of your folders under the system folders.
  •  ###EVENTNAME ( do each event like this. Once event is over , remove the folder from the BLOG folder)
  •   ### HAIR TO BLOG ( You can fit hair into any post, making a large folder with the ### helps you keep up with what needs doing, same can be done with skins in ### SKIN TO BLOG
      *Screen shot of what I mean* 
      
  2.  Be professional! – 
 Always try to conduct yourself in a polite manner while in SL, Flickr, Facebook or anywhere. People are judging you!  
Had a bad day and jumped on that random person in group chat for asking a silly question? They might be bff’s with that designer you wanted review copies from.
By becoming a blogger and putting your link out for everyone to view, you are making yourself a public figure. Be respectful of others!
 So to wrap this segment up. If you really feel the need to be a jerk, make an ALT and be one on that avatar. But FYI, bullies suck!

 2. a) Speaking of Review Copies -


First of all, what are review copies?
*Now I had originally called the shop owners “Sponsors” Seems That is not the right word. So I have changed things to say review copies.*

When a Designer decides to send you review copies they will either be adding you to a group. ( Make sure you have space!) , put you on a mailing list or it could be a one time deal. You the blogger having asked for Item X to review.(If you have asked for review copies. BLOG THEM! Then send the designer all the links  with your thanks.
*Remember, no one HAS to send you anything.

So you love this Designer and wish to blog for them.
Here are a few tips on how to obtain review copies.

Most of the time you  contact the designer or who the designer directs you to in their profile.
Occasionally someone will contact you and offer you a spot on their blogger list or an item to blog.(Yay you if this happens!)

When contacting designers – 
  DO 
 Blog them first.
Read their profile.
Follow the instructions in the profile.
Move on if the profile says no Blogger requests.
Apply if you are able to meet all their requirements.
Be Polite.

  ✼ Don’t 
Approach before reading profiles.
Approach without having previously blogged their designs.
Do not feel entitled.
✘ Do not spam the designer.
✘ Don’t feel bad if you do not hear back.
 Do not ask if their profile says No Bloggers.
✘ Don’t be a jerk, like ever.
Apply unless you can follow all their rules.

On the DO’S -

  • First thing you want to make sure of before you even think of contacting a creator is to make sure you have blogged their items in the not so distant past.Then you can read their profile thoroughly and see if they are                 1. Hiring and 2.Who to contact.

  • Once you’ve gotten this far, see how they WANT to be contacted.Some have blog managers, some have websites to apply to. Most have certain things they want to see on the application. * Be very thorough. and triple check before sending it on.*

  • A lot of times you will see “Not accepting new bloggers, Do not ask!” This should speak for itself but just in case I will tell you what to do here. DO NOT CONTACT THEM! Period! What you do here is assuming you have blogged them, look for their Flickr group. Add all your photos you have blogged showcasing THEIR items.

*I put emphasis on THEIR because so many times I see people dumping their photos into every group they are a member of, not even caring if it’s the designers product or not. DON’T BE LAZY. This will reflect poorly on you!*

  • Find out what the requirements are for blogging .Every shop is different. Read it over like three times so it sinks in. Then if you KNOW you can meet the requirements apply however the profile directs you to. ( Good luck! :)

On the Do Not’s -

  • Again, read profiles and follow instructions!!! If you don’t you are wasting everyone’s time.
  • Don’t bother asking for sponsorship without previously having blogged their designs. ( Unless you are very well known and then maybe you can try but really It’s rude not to have blogged them previously.)
  • Do not feel entitled. No matter who you are. If the designer does not reply or the designer says no. That is the final answer. Walk away gracefully. Or maybe you will get lucky and they will put you on a list of possible future bloggers. Keep blogging them and that brings me to my next point…
  • DO NOT SPAM the designers. That’s just going to piss them off and you can kiss that particular sponsorship good bye.
  • Make sure you know their requirements . If they want you to blog every item they put out, You better make sure you are on board with that.
  • This should be Firstly, and Lastly. BE POLITE! 
3. Your blog design  - 

      DO 
  Make it personal. 
  Have a clean layout.
   Have useful Links in the sidebars.
  ✼ Don’t 
 Don’t have auto play music.
 Don’t crazy cursors or things that chase them.
 Don’t have animated flashing thingy’s.
 Don’t have a lot clutter.
  •   I have seen a few blogs that  have moving pictures, rain drops, bouncy things flying around, animated gifs all over and stuff EVERYWHERE. I tend to close those fast as I open them. Same goes for Music.. Please for the love of Pete. Just don’t!!  No one likes to be blasted into a mild heart attack when peeking at your blog. If you need music, add a You Tube link to a video in your posts!  
  • Make sure you have a search bar! Designers want to be able to find their stuff.
  •  Post useful links where people can find them, If you have a freebie link collection, put that on the main page. I have found that it keeps a readership and can become the go to blog to look at the freebies of the day.

         I took mine away and readership dropped drastically. Something to think about anyway.

        Here’s one from my blog, to give you an idea.
                     
 Keep this list as current as possible, removing links that go stale or are inactive.
 4.  Links – 
✼ Link EVERYTHING!!!
✼ DO 
 Link everything worn including shape & eyes.
 Link The Pose and store.
Link the photo location.
 Link to the event that item can be found at.
 DO NOT 
 Don’t only link your sponsors.
 Don’t leave anything out.
 If you’re going to blog fashion. -

  • Don’t just link to your sponsors shops! – I can’t say this is the way for everyone but it helps for people that come to your blog to find that specific item you blogged.
  • Link every designer & store! – Skin, shape, hair,eyes .
  • Use the designers name in your credits too – They worked their asses off to make that dress, shoe, hair! * I will be doing this in future as well!*


  • Credit the Pose makers! –  You would look pretty silly stood in a T pose in your photo now would’t you? They deserve credit too!
  • YES when I say everything, I do mean everything!
Don’t be lazy.  Designers look at this and will most likely dismiss a blog that does not give credit.
  • Credit events!  – If that dress you’re blogging is from Designer X.. But it’s being sold at Event Y.. Link that too!  People need to know where to go to find that perfect dress! It should look something like this…

 5. Photos – 
  This is one area that is quite personal and unique to each blogger.

DO
  Make sure the item being blogged is clearly visible.
  Make sure the items you wear are fitted properly.
 Make sure it looks good!
  Do take close ups of your polish and accessories.

 DO NOT 
  Wear ill fitting outfits.
  Over edit the photo.
 Do something just because everyone else is.

  • On fitting your clothing. -

 There is nothing worse for me than seeing a blog post where say a top is worn and the straps are sunk into the avatar because of the pose. Or if wearing mesh pants,skirts, you can see a huge gap between the av and the mesh. Either fit your clothing properly, edit your av’s fat slider if need be or learn how to use the clone tool in an editing program.

  • Over or under editing. 

Now I can’t preach too much here. I am an editing tool addict.
I do now add the raw shots to the bottom of my blog post.  If you have doubts, don’t be afraid to show the designer the photo and ask them if it’s too much. Most will find the time to reply to you.

  •  On the subject of close ups. -

If you are going to credit say a nail polish. Do take the time to do a close up of said polish. It is a huge pet peeve of designers to have a blogger mention them in credits without their wares being actually shown.

  • Following trends. - 

White lines -
* Personal pet peeves*
 I see so many hopping on the band wagon of these white lines all over their photo. These white lines should be on one side of the image only, it’s a lighting and shadow thing, the sun doesn’t highlight the underside of both your boobs now does it?

 Plastering designer names all over the image. -
I suppose if you really want to you can but a better idea is to add the names in  the blog credits. As well as in the description field in Flickr.

6. Fashion Feeds. -
  Most designers like you to be on them.
So what I did was visit other bloggers Feed pages and follow the links there to find as many as possible.

DO
✔ Read the rules on each Feed about how to apply.
✔ Follow these instructions, give them exactly what they ask for.
✔ Apply to all that you can find.
✔ Make sure you link back to them.

 DO NOT 
✘ Add your application more than once.
✘ Contact the Owner In SL unless it says somewhere to do this.
✘ Leave nasty messages or spam the comment section.
✘ Feel entitled to be on any Feed. You are added at owners discretion.

  • When linking feeds to your blog 

You can either create a separate tab or page on the blog to list these or list them on your main page.

  • Are you actually on that Feed? -

When you are linking these Feeds to your blog make sure you do two separate sections. One for Feeds pending and one for Feeds you are actually on.

  • Spamming a Feed - 

This is a personal pet peeve of mine. To see 5 comments from the same person asking to be on the feed. Once will do. It is not an automatic process.
The person responsible for adding or not adding you will get to it when they can. Patience Grasshopper.

  • Make sure your blog qualifies! – 

If a feed says 3 months. Wait till your blog is actually three months.
I have turned someone away who did technically qualify because they had only two posts in that time frame.

  • Be patient! – 

This is self explanatory I hope!

7. Networking – 

Networking, for a blog? 
Oh yes, yes indeed! You should have at the very least these three forms of social networking. They really do work to help you get noticed!

Blogger Support groups and Websites. -
These are super handy , chocked full of information for Bloggers, new and old alike. You can see who is Looking for bloggers and get way more tips and tutorials than you will find here. Check out [SL]Blogger Support HERE
Also Blogging Second Life HERE

Flickr. –  First, go to Flickr.com and create an account.
Use your avatar name or whatever name you want people to know you by.
They don’t need your real life one.

  • Follow Designers and other Residents! - 

Check profiles and social networking boards in your favorite shops.
Follow the Flickr links you find there and then if you like their style, hit the follow button on their page. If you want them to follow you back I suggest you fave a few of their photos by clicking the star at the bottom of the photo.
 It also helps to comment on photos once in a while.
It is a tit for tat community.

  • When you upload your photo –  

Make sure you use the *Tag* feature. Tag all the store names that are visible in your photo, also the location and pose makers name. People find my photo’s via this feature all the time!

  • Add information in the description field. 

What I tend to do here is if the item is only on sale for a limited time or free I post the item name. Some info. And the SLURL. Then when I finish my blog post that the photo relates to I post the blog link here as well.

  • Add it to groups. - 

But be smart about it, do not add a brand new photo to a group for 100+ likes.
Read the group rules before you post. If it is an award group, you better award what they require or they will ban you from said groups.

  • Add information in the description field. - 

What I tend to do here is if the item is only on sale for a limited time or free I post the item name. Some info. And the SLURL.

Facebook - Now this one is a little bit trickier. Facebook does not want Avatars.
They want your real life info and Real life name. I choose to use my avatar’s name and take my chances of being removed. But I also have a back up.  A page for my Blog. You do not have to be a real anything to have a Facebook page.

  • Find friends 

Send them friend requests.

  • Friend designers 

Not all will accept your request. Be polite. Don’t make a fuss if they decline.
Check out their profiles for any Facebook info they may have available to the public.

  • Like Pages 

A lot of SL shops have networking boards you can click. Follow the link to their page and hit the like button there. You will get updates on all their new releases or their cats, really whatever they feel like posting.

  • Make your own page! – 

Follow the steps provided by Facebook  to create a page for your blog.
Or, even a personal page. This gets you around their no avatar rule.

  • Join Blogging groups! – There are loads. If you look for me, Ember Adored, you can go through the groups I am in and join whatever you think suits you best.

Once you’ve joined your groups -  You need to use them.
Every time you post to your blog. Post it to Facebook and the groups for bloggers. Designers see these too, also customers. It’s win win for everyone.

But wait, There’s more! -
I don’t have much knowledge of these sites but they are huge networking tools for bloggers and designers alike. You should check them out.

Plurk 
Another social network that everyone seems to be on and very active.

Google +1 button.
It’s on most of the blogs already. A way to spread your posts.
Twitter.
A great way to share your posts or whatever’s on your mind!

Please , if you join any of these sites. Conduct yourself as adults Play Nice!

Whew! You made it through to the end.
Well the end for today:)

I have a distinct feeling that I will be adding to this regularly.

Almost final note about all this*
I would also like to say that these are mostly my own views on how blogs should be and by no means are they the only way to do things.
It is your blog, make it unique to you.

I want to thank everyone who I pestered in my polls on Flickr , Facebook and [SL]Blogger Support. Your combined input helped me immensely in making this page.

* One last thing.*
If you need help with any of the above mentioned tips. Please don’t be shy, message me in SL.
My name is Ember Adored and while I don’t know it all, I sure love to help my peers.

Back 2 Full Time Blogging Boo

Previously posted @ Society Ablaze.



Outfit 
Hair: Hair Day. Heather (Limited Flower Edition) – FATPACK @ The 24 Squared Sep. 5-13

Top: [Reloaded]Bustier Top_Floral (MESH)
Bottoms: American Beauty- Plum Metallic Skirt @ The ShowRoom
Shoes: >FamelessCHic< EdenHeels -white-

Accessories
Watch: (FEMALE)[MANDALA]BILLIONAIRE_Fashionista(white)
Clutch: ::LC:: Majestic Clutch  -Pure
Lipstick: Just Magnetized – Bonny Lipstick – Nude
Nails: .Figure. Cupcake Nails set

Body Parts

Slink Casual Mesh Hands
Slink Flat Mesh Feet
*L.inc* Phat Azz
Lolas Tango Mirage

Skin/Eyes
Eyes: [Buzz] Celestial Eyes – Winter
Skin: Lara Hurley