Before I created londonsnewgirl, I actually blogged over on misszarabelle.com and whilst I’ve left the site up as it really is like a diary and I truly loved what I was writing, I feel like I’ve taken londonsnewgirl in a completely different direction and I am going about it a totally different way.
WordPress VS Blogger
The age old blogger debate! When creating londonsnewgirl I wanted to try a different platform as I had found a lot of issues with my previous blog which was hosted on blogger. I chose WordPress and I really do feel like I made the right decision.
Despite having invested in a blogger theme, I found it a lot more work to add widgets and edit the layout. WordPress had so many beautiful free themes that were relatively easy to customise and I haven’t found any need to spend extra money to find a theme as the current theme reflects my blog and what I want it to portray.
I also love that WordPress uses blocks to form their posts, making it so much easier to edit and add photos to posts. It is also so easy to edit the ALT text of images and add meta descriptions which is especially helpful for WordPress beginners like myself.
Blogging is definitely my hobby. Whilst it would be the dream career for some, I love the office environment and feeling part of a team. However, I would love to use my blogging skills in my career and can definitely see it playing a significant role in my future. Therefore you could say that there is a certain sense of pressure, however nothing like the pressure I was putting on myself beforehand! I would spend hours a day looking at google analytics, when in all honesty, not all that much was changing. I was definitely never obsessed with the numbers because it wasn’t about that for me, but I would spend hours trying to promote my blog and would not get much in return. This time I’m focusing more on creating the content and generating the right kind of engagement with it. I want my blog to be a guide and a place of inspiration for others, therefore I’d much rather read five comments that were relevant to the post than ten that simply said “Great post!” I’m putting much less pressure on myself this time and I think it’s already visible in my views and interactions on social media – in a positive way! I am engaging more with people who are enjoying my content rather than people who simply want a returned comment.
I have also tried to focus on creating a unified brand for londonsnewgirl, across both social media and the content I am producing. Whilst I was essentially the brand for my previous blog, I have so many interests that it ended up sprawling quite a few topics. However as this blog is focused on my move to London and how I am navigating the city as a graduate, I have tried to narrow my content to career and London based topics. My recent posts have included how I’m finding the London job hunt, how I am curating my work wardrobe and what I learned at university. By focusing on these topics I am finding it much easier to plan posts and I am writing much less spur of the moment chatter. I want londonsnewgirl to be a guide for any other gal or guy who is taking the plunge and move to the city. Once I become more settled I want to discuss the London rental market, as well as my favourite places for brunch and post-work cocktails. (A girl can dream… Reality is looking more like the sweaty central line ride home before I collapse in an exhausted heap…)
Or well, lack of it. Photography is not my strong suit, I don’t have a fancy canon camera and I don’t have portrait mode on my iPhone. For me, blogging isn’t about the photography, it’s about the words and the experience of reading the content. Pictures are definitely important, they provide an image that can be associated with the content and this is infinitely easier to share on social media as they are more inviting and eye catching. However this time, I’m wanting to put out high quality content, including photography, so I have decided to work with stock photos. Some of you may be gasping in horror, but I recently ran a poll on my twitter to see what you all thought of stock photos and 88% of you said you weren’t fussed/wouldn’t even notice. For some, this might be the biggest blogging sin ever, but please forgive me. I’d rather put all my energy into creating better quality content and sharing high quality images no matter who took them. I am also really enjoying creating Pinterest graphics for my post, so that my content can be easily shared on Pinterest, something which I never bothered with before as I didn’t think it would drive much traffic. However as I want londonsnewgirl to be more of a reference point and guide, it’s important to me that I make my posts and content as easy to refer back to as possible and Pinterest definitely helps me do that.