Category Archives: I Want… Blogging!

I’ve Moved! ♥

ANYTHINGSPOSSIBLEIFYOUVEGOTENOUGHNERVE

 

Some people live in fear of snakes, heights or tomato sauce (no lie, I once worked with a lady who insisted that she had BREAKDOWNS if she encountered the stuff, can you imagine?! How would you dine out anywhere?!), but me? I quaked in my boots at the thought of moving to self-hosted WordPress! But, as the above quote so succinctly puts it, anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

Last night, over numerous cups of tea, Lana Del Rey and Led Zeppelin (thanks, guys!), I knuckled down and moved my blogging butt back to frockandrollonline.com, and I’m so proud! (Do you know how often I’ve thought – across six years! – “hmmm, I SHOULD transfer to self-hosted WordPress but nah, that’s too hard and I can’t be bothered learning and anyway, what’s in the fridge?”?!) It’s not looking particularly pretty at the moment, but I’m out shopping for a new dress for it  (read: someone nifty is designing it) as we speak. Will I see you there? (If you’re already ‘following’ Frock And Roll, I’ll be transferring your subscriptions your over, so see you soon!)

xoxo

 

YIKES! ♥

One of the beauties of modern technology (thank-you, clever Google Analytics!) is that while you can’t identify who, when or why somebody’s visiting your website, you CAN see how they’ve arrived there.

For example, did they click through from Facebook or Twitter? Did they type ”shark toy party” (hey! It happens!) into Google and BAM, somehow magically arrive at one of your pages?

I was wondering why so many people had apparently been searching for ”Corrine Lynskey Frock & Roll” in the past 24 hours. Um, I wager that this would be why!

This was published in the newspaper yesterday! #terrifying

This (an edit from this piece here) was published in the The Manly Daily newspaper yesterday and I HAD NO IDEA. How terrifying! I feel so weirdly… exposed! (Which is ridiculous, because I’m not secretive about Frock & Roll  in the slightest, but I guess that if anyone in the area didn’t know that I was blogging… THEY DO NOW!) Yikes indeed!

xoxo

Tempura, Tofu & Internet Friends: Dinner At Koi Restaurant, Sydney! ♥

Tempura

Last night five spectacularly lovely ladies (and myself!) braved the wild Sydney weather to mingle at Koi in Darlinghurst (because when Sarah Von of Yes & Yes announces that she’s coming to town and that she’d like to co-host a dinner party with you, there’s really only one answer to deliver: “yes and YES!’’), and goodness gracious gyoza dumplings, what an EVENING it was!

Delicious food was gobbled, many, many topics were combed through (blogging! Travelling! Blogging while travelling!) and tips, tricks and stories galore were shared. F-u-n!

Can I take a moment to gush about how brilliant Sarah was?! Seriously, what. a. GIRL. She was hilarious, intelligent and astoundingly sweet (of course!), and charismatic enough to seamlessly continue conversations even after some truly stupid tongue-tied moments from moi:

Sarah: “So tell me about your apartment, dude! What’s it like?!” (Yes, she really does speak this awesomely in “real life”.)
Me: “Um… yeah! It’s… uh… well… it’s apartment-like. Yep. Oh, hang on… are we not supposed to be eating these beans whole?!”

(Ooh, I was not on top of my communication game last night. You know those moments where “cool!” and ”good!” become “cood!” and ”gool”?! Uh huh. There were plenty of them. Yikes!) Anyyyhoo. Let’s take a peek at some pictures!

Sydney Bloggers Koi Restaurant Sarah Von Yes & Yes

Gorgeous girls! (And some fool with her eyes shut.) From left to right: the adorable Anna, myself, Sarah, Bec (who was sporting a particularly nifty raspberry-hued hat), photographer extraordinaire Cathy and Rachel, who dreams of opening a magnificent candy store. (And what’s not fantastic about that?!)

Sydney Bloggers Koi Restaurant Sarah Von Yes & Yes

Fruit salad and ice-cream spring rolls. All together now: ”mmmmmmmmmmmm!”

Sydney Bloggers Koi Restaurant Sarah Von Yes & Yes

Perched at Kings Cross station (and sporting some extremely questionable yellow nail polish) with Sarah. (And hey, what do you know… MY EYES ARE SHUT AGAIN! D’OH!)

Isn’t the internet a weird, wonderful place?! It constantly flabbergasts me that every time we view or create something online, we’re actually connecting with other people. Other excellent, extraordinary people. Sharing our LIVES. Becoming invested in theirs. (One of the subjects discussed at the table was how strangely emotional we felt when an awful event, such as a relationship breakdown or an illness, occurred to a person whose blog we’d been reading, but you DO, don’t you?! Wacky or not, you DO care! You do share their sadness and immediately wish that you could wave it away with an enormous magic wand!) It’s a remarkable thing.

Thank-you so, so much to everyone who came along! (And I hope to meet ALL of you one day! But, um, hopefully with my eyes open.)

xoxo

A Thought For The Day… How Much Are Bloggers Worth? ♥

howmucharebloggersworth

An interesting wee question posed by Australian fashion blogger Hayley Hughes on her Twitter account over the weekend:

”WAIT – so if Vogue Australia only sells 50,000 copies in June, and I get over 50,000 hits for my blog in the month of June, why am I not getting more $$$?!”

How much are bloggers worth?

xoxo

The Blogger’s Guide To Search Engine Optimisation: The Non-Confusing Way! (Part One!) ♥

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Search engine optimisation: if you’re not a blogger, this is a term that will possibly sound like Spanglish to you, and even if you ARE a blogger this is still possibly a term that will sound like Spanglish to you, but not anymore!

If there’s something that I don’t know (and ooh, there’s plenty), I will usually deduce that it’s likely that someone else out there is pulling their hair in frustration over (or, on a less dramatic scale, curious about) the exact same thing. So when I finally do find the answer to what I’ve been looking for? Naturally, I HAVE to share it!

So. Search engine optimisation! What is it? The process of making your blog or website as search engine-friendly as possible, so that, you know, if you’re writing about maps of South America, people will actually FIND your posts about maps of South America. Have you ever wondered how Google decides which particular websites appear on the first page of results after you’ve searched for a certain topic? Through search engine optimisation! Have you ever written a magnificently informative post about the virtues of pot plants only to feel marginally deflated because nobody ever seems to find it? Become friends with search optimisation!

Allow me to make the introduction:

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When Giving Your Posts A Title, Think Like Somebody Who’s Using A Search Engine – And Label Them Accordingly!

Okay, so perhaps you’ve just penned a piece on how to style a technicolour vest. Terrific! Now, if the aim of your blogging game is to draw as many people to that particular post as possible through search engines, think like somebody who’s actually going to be USING one: what are they likely to be typing in when they’re hunting for information? How to wear a technicolour vest? What to wear with a technicolour vest? There’s a HUGE difference between a post that’s titled ‘I Like Technicolours Vests So Here’s What I’d Put With Them’ and ‘What To Wear With A Technicolour Vest’; the latter is far more likely to be searched for!

Not sure what people are actually querying? Type a keyword into a search engine such as Google (as demonstrated in my screen shot above on the far right hand side: hello!), and allow it to sit there for a moment. Within seconds, the most popular searches worldwide containing that word will be shown. You see those? That’s what people are searching for!

Pay Attention To The URL OF Your Posts

It’s one thing to name your article ‘What To Wear With A Technicolour Vest’ but another to have your url look something like http://www.hello.com/technicolourvestsarethebest/ – search engines read these words and think “huh? Is your post about what to wear with a technicolour vest or why they’re the best? Nuts to that confused website, it can stay on page 80,000 of the search results for technicolour vests!” T-r-u-l-y! But having the two synchronised (for example,  ‘What To Wear With A Technicolour Vest’ and http://www.hello.com/whattowearwithatechnicolourvest/) improves your chances of climbing your way to the top of search engines for those keywords IMMEDIATELY, because you’re almost telling them exactly where to go! (But on a side note, oh, the perils of screen shots: why yes, I DID have to Google how to do a screen shot on a Macbook!) 

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I’ll be splitting my lessons in search optimisation into two parts because by gum, I have some more tips and tricks to share! But in the meantime, tell me: questions? Comments? ”Corrine, this makes absolutely no sense, explain it again”?! (It’s okay, I can take it!) What’s something that you’ve always wanted to know about search engine optimisation or blogging in general that would help you to feel less hair pull-y?

xoxo

So Smart, I Feel Nervous In Their Presence: Clever Blogging Tools Of The Trade! ♥

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There are many questions which keep me awake at night: I wonder when The Mentalist will be returning to TV? Who IS Red John? And honestly, HOW can you post a link to Twitter without that those pesky -5grey characters appearing, reminding you that you’ve exceeded their 140 character or less word limit?!

WELL. While the former is still keeping me well and truly tossing and turning (tell me, channel nine, TELL ME!), I’ve since discovered how to conquer the latter, and a few other clever wee blogging tricks of the trade, too! Corrine: 1. Grey Characters: 0.

Use Tiny Url To Shorten The Length Of Links

It’s free! It’s clever! It’ll turn that super long http://ghgfccccfgghhlljjjhjjfsfgghfdfahjajhagahh.com/ahah website address into one that is 26 characters or less! If you’re using Twitter and want to share a link but are perennially batlling with their 140 character or less word limit, this is very pleasing news indeed.

Develop Your Own Photo Collages With Picnik

There are many wonderful image manipulation programs which will actually allow you to create these yourself. I do not own a single one of them. Luckily, Picnik is a very nifty little (free!) product which will allow you to make up your own collages, minus Photoshop. Whee! (Psst! It’s also a great tool to use for any photo editing, too!)

polaroid

Create Whimsical Polaroid-Style Photos With Poladroid 

With the abundance of polaroid-style photos floating around on the internet, you could be forgiven for temporarily wondering how the heck everyone had suddenly acquired such a camera: “was there some kind of sale? Were they just magically handing them out the street?! HOW?!” But you see, you don’t have to own one to be able to create these yourself: you can just download Poladroid and turn any image into a dreamy, polaroid-like photo, instead!

Become Friends With We Heart It & Tumblr For Beautiful Photographs, Sans Personal Photographer

Fact: 98% of the images used on Frock & Roll originate from We Heart It. This is fantastic because there are new, beautiful photos added to the website every second, but not-so fantastic because it can be incredibly difficult to credit the original source of an image. It’s also guilty of thieving criminal lengths of my time. But hey – these are relationship quirks that I can absolutely learn to roll with in the pursuit of beautiful imagery!

Set Up A Flickr Account To Re-Size Your Images

Sometimes I’ll find an image that’s too large. Other times I’ll stumble across one that’s not small enough. Then, before it all gets too stressful and I start cursing about having the computer skills of a cat, I’ll simply upload one of them onto Flickr, and bask in the magnificence that is their “all sizes” option, feeling significantly smarter for knowing that a cat could DEFINITELY not have mastered such a move.

Flickr! Poladroid! Picnik! Have you tried any of these services before, and do you have any clever blogging tools of the trade to share?

xoxo

On TwitterHey! Let’s be friends! (Or should that be TWIENDS?!)
Become a fan of Frock & Roll on Facebook!

Sally! Sarah! Carly! How OTHER Bloggers Network, Promote & Get Their Blogs OUT THERE! ♥

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So, a couple of weeks ago I put together the series The Blogger’s Guide To Hustling: Networking, Promoting & Getting Your Blog OUT THERE! Parts OneTwo & Three – and it was during this process that I thought gosh. Why should you just listen to me bang on? Why not incorporate the knowledge of OTHER bloggers, and pick their wonderful brains?!” Luckily these three lovely ladies, all who have been writing hugely successful blogs for at least two years, were willing to let me!

Introducing – the lovely Sally from Already Pretty, Sarah from Yes & Yes and Carly from Lady Smaggle, and exactly how they networked, promoted and got their blogs OUT THERE!

SALLY

sallymcgrowalreadypretty

Comment, Comment, Comment!

I spent my first four blogging months wondering why the heck I wasn’t getting any comments, until a friend pointed out that I had to LEAVE comments to GET comments. So networking through reading and commenting is definitely a biggie for me!

Guest Post

I’ve gotta put in a good word about guest posting. I know a lot about style, but I don’t know it all. So when it comes to topics like bra fittingsflattering hats, and pregnancy chic, I’d rather call in actual experts than muddle through myself. I’ve had dozens of amazing bloggers guest post on my blog, and it’s always rewarding. Their know-how reaches my audience, cross-pollination occurs, and goodwill is built. Total win!

A Few Tips For Cultivating Successful Guest Posts:

 Establish yourself first. If your blog is a week old and you’re already requesting guest posts, it may seem odd. Guest posts work best if you’ve already spent some time building and cultivating an audience on your own.

Only request posts from bloggers with whom you have an existing relationship. I wouldn’t even consider writing to Garance Dore and requesting a guest post from her because she has absolutely no idea who I am. Stick to friends and colleagues, the bloggers who run your regular haunts, and folks who actually comment back once in a while.

– Have a topic in mind, and target bloggers with specific expertise. Guest posts need a reason, and that reason is typically that the guest poster can offer perspective or expertise that you, yourself, cannot.

 Most bloggers will link to their guest posts as a courtesy, and so that their readerships can view their work elsewhere. But if your guest poster forgets, don’t be shy about nudging. Wait a day, then drop a quick note asking if she/he could notify readers about the guest post.

– If the post goes well, ask if YOU can do a guest post. More of that cross-pollination goodness!

SARAH

sarahvonyesandyes

Make Friends With Other Bloggers

One of my favorite things about blogging is all the fantastic people that you meet and the connections that you make. And luckily for you, said connections can be super beneficial!  If you read a blog that you really love and you feel like you have things in common with the blogger, don’t hesitate to write them and tell them so. Cultivate friendships and relationships with other bloggers in your niche or blogs that your readers would like.  Write guest posts for each other, put each other on your blog rolls and recommend their posts to your readers.  If you guys like each other, there’s a good chance your readers will like each other, too!  I’m half in love with DaddylikeyAgent Lover and Lady Smaggle. We’ve all guest posted for each other and if I’m ever in their home towns, I’m pretty sure some slumber party, hair-braiding action is going to take place!

LADY SMAGGLE

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I’m actually a very conservative blogger when it comes to networking and my site has grown quite organically and through word of mouth. I do comment on other blogs but only if I actually have something to say about the post. I’ve been guest blogging more recently on Yes & Yes which is fantastic because our readers are so similar and it’s great to share our skills. Sarah writes great articles about subjects that I’m not familiar with, so it’s great to open doors for our readers and ‘cross-pollinate’ as she calls it!

I’m on Twitter and Facebook which I update regularly. It’s important to be accessible to your readers through their preferred platform of social networking. I’m a bit lazy when it comes to answering comments but I reply to all (most) Twitter, Facebook and e-mail messages because generally people are enquiring about something in particular rather than providing an opinion which, despite often being lovely and complimentary, doesn’t always warrant a response.

The Best Advice I Can Give About Blogging Is –

1. Be yourself, but be professional – when you look at some of the top bloggers in the world they rarely complain about their parents, boyfriends, fat thighs etc. I enjoy blogs where I feel like I know the author but sometimes it gets a little personal and Jerry Springer-esque. Think about your blog like a product and you represent that product. Be professional and friendly but try to keep a little air of mystery about yourself. Also, proof read and be a nightmare editor for yourself. It’s worth it.

2. Write about subjects that you enjoy – It will show in your work. I don’t want to blow my own horn but I quite like to read my own blog archives. Why? Because I like what I write about. Simple.

3. Keep your posts snappy – they are like magazine articles, if they are more than a few pages long your readers will lose interest.

4. Check your stats – see what posts have high search rates, what words you used that got flagged etc. and use that info to write similar and follow up posts.

5. Read blogging blogs like Problogger – half the time I have no idea what he is talking about but occasionally he writes something that resembles English and it’s very useful to people like me who aren’t so savvy on the tech side of blogging.

6. Attend any blogger meet ups, events or social gatherings that you get invited to – it’s lovely to put a face to a name and meeting bloggers in real life is a great way to network, get advice and swap blogging stories. There are so few people in ‘real life’ who get what’s it’s like to be a semi-popular blogger and it’s surprisingly refreshing to have a conversation with someone that doesn’t get stopped by the phrase ‘Wait, who is Susie Bubble?’

7. Be consistent. Keep your blogging schedule as regular as possible and keep the subject matter as niche as you can. I find this really difficult because I have a thirty second attention span and when I see something shiny I get distracted but I have a few regular segments likeCan I Get A Consensus? Why Don’t You? and DIYs that my readers respond really well to. People love a routine and you should use this to your advantage.

Brilliant. Thank-you so much for sharing your wisdom, ladies! (Are they clever or WHAT?!)

xoxo