Esther blogging the best way: in your pyjamas! Credit: Esther Wyse
I’m finally getting back into the blogging spirit after a weeks holiday, and what nicer way to do this with an interview with my lovely blogger friend, Esther Wyse from estherwyseblog.wordpress.com
Esther posts always conjure up the cosiest feelings, as well as her insta account which is astoundingly beautiful. You ALL need to go and check her out and give her a follow. Her insta-stories are always interesting too, from mini shopping hauls to reviews on skincare. You’ll learn a lot about cosy living from Esther!
If you’re a regular reader of these ‘meet the blogger’ posts, you may notice that I’ve given the questions a bit of revamp! I was getting a bit bored of these previous questions and thought it was definitely time to have a change! Change is always good. The new set of questions are categorised into sections such as General Blogging, Social Media and Working with PR and Brands. I really want to be able to give the reader, who may or may not be new to blogging, a better insight into how bloggers work. I hope you enjoy the new questions, and I’m always open to questions you might want to ask bloggers, so feel free to suggest in the comments!
So go grab your beverage of choice and a notepad, as you may want to take notes! Esther’s giving away some golden tips you won’t want to forget.
- Describe your blog to me in 3 words.
Chatty, colourful and foodie.
- How long have you been blogging for?
I actually built my blog a year ago but began writing posts consistently in December 2017
- Full time or spare time blogger?
Spare time at the moment.
- Preferred place to blog?
Honestly I don’t really have a preferred place. I suppose I’ve never really thought about it! I’d say the place I blog most is sat on my sofa with a cup of tea and some snacks. (always snacks!)
- Sounds perfect! Reason for starting a blog? Is it a hobby or would you like it to become a business?
I started my blog as I was feeling I wasn’t able to be as creative as I wanted in my job so it gives me the freedom to create and share exactly what I want. I also really enjoy writing and I think it’s such a great way to share your thoughts and feelings. For now my blog is just a hobby which I’m really enjoying, but that’s not to say I’d never consider it becoming a business if it headed in that direction.
- I could totally see your blogging going that way! Are you into planning your posts in advance? Do you use a tool to schedule them or post as soon as you’ve finished writing?
When it comes to blog plans I honestly don’t really have one. I try to post 2-3 posts a week but I never force it. If I’ve got something I want to write about (usually I do!) then I will just go for it. The moment I sit down to write a post is usually the time I decide what I’m going to write about. I often have ideas floating around in my head, which I will note down but that’s about as far as my planning goes. I keep a lot of draft posts, and I always make sure I have a draft written before I publish a post – don’t ask me why I guess it’s a kind of safety net. I’ve always got a post in the bank so I’m never empty handed.
- There’s definitely drawbacks to planning. What’s your posting routine (I.e sharing to Twitter, facebook etc)?
Instagram is my favourite Social Media platform. I absolutely love posting photos and engaging with others, and it’s somewhere I also share my blog updates. I’ll usually post an Instagram story with the details, or if I have one relevant I’ll post a photo to my feed. I then include the link to my most recent blog post in my bio (if I remember!).
I use Twitter mostly when it comes to sharing blog links, just because I can post frequently and schedule Tweets to ensure my posts are getting shared. I usually Tweet four blog links a day to recent posts, and a little more frequently if I’ve got a brand new post.
- Despite the insta algorithm, it is a fun platform! A cup of tea, coffee, hot chocolate?
This is difficult…I’m definitely not a coffe drinker. I am a huge green tea drinker with the occasional milky tea in the evenings if I’m having some chocolate or biscuits. But you really can’t beat a big hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows…
- Exactly! I love seeing your hot choc pics on insta! Any exciting plans for your blog that you’d like to share with us?
You know what I’m desperate to do is redesign and rebrand my blog. I love it as it is but I really want it to be stronger in terms of branding and personality. I want to get my domain sorted and properly brand myself. I’d love to create my own style of graphics for sharing on social but it’s just finding the time. I realise that doesn’t sound hugely interesting but ya know, it’ll be worth it!
- I just did mine on this blog and am so glad I did! Blogs these days are seen as ‘brands’ – how can a blogger essentially create a brand out of their blog? Any top tips?
I think to some extent branding is personality, but I would say these are the things I recognise as being important in branding yourself:
- Colour: What I love about some bloggers and what I try to do myself is have a colour associated to my blog and my social profiles. For instance my blogging friend Mollie is fantastic when it comes to branding and when I think about her and her blog, I instantly imagine pinks and purples. You can check out her blog here: https://mollieclarke.co.uk
- Tone of voice: I think this comes naturally to most people but I think it’s one of your strongest forms of branding. Without putting much thought into it, my tone of voice is pretty positive and upbeat and I use a lot of emojis. I like to think that’s my tone of voice and it runs consistently throughout my blog and social channels.
- Imagery: You know when you’re flicking through Instagram and you see a photo, and before you’ve even seen who’s posted it you know who’s it is? I think that’s strong branding when it comes to imagery. Even if it’s just taking photos of similar things, or from similar angles I think there’s so many ways you can make your imagery consistent (without being boring of course!)
- Wow, thanks for the amazing tips! Do you have a blogging pet peeve?
Oh this is a tough one…it’s not directly linked to blogging but in terms of bloggers on social, it’s got to be the follow unfollowers. It drives me crazy!
How beautiful are Esther’s photos?! Credit: Esther Wyse
- . Instagram or Twitter?
- Let’s talk Instagram – any tips for beating the dreaded algorithm? Best times for posting? Tips for perfecting those flat lays? How can bloggers best use this platform?
Genuinely I could talk about Instagram for hours, I absolutely love it. My top tip for Instagram is engage, engage, engage. It’s simple, the more you engage with others, the more they engage with you and the more your posts get seen. (I actually have a whole blog post on Instagram tips if you’d like to have a nosy! It’s here: https://estherwyseblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/i-doubled-my-instagram-followers-in-one-month-heres-how/) Also, it’s fun to connect with others!
When it comes to flatlays and photos the only thing I really go for is lighting. If you have a look at my Instagram feed (https://www.instagram.com/estherruthwyse/) you’ll see that I only ever post photos in daylight, and usually avoid direct sunlight. It keeps my feed consistent and I’m all about bright and crisp photos.
I think the best way to use Instagram as a blogger is just to connect with your followers, and to give them a further insight into your life. Every time I post a photo I write a little story in the caption telling my followers what I’m up to and such, it’s essentially a really mini blog post underneath each photo.
- Great advice! Are you an insta story user? Do you find this helps engagement with your followers? What sort of things do they prefer to see you posting?
I LOVE Instagram stories. I think it’s so nice to be able to post more often without feeling the pressure of the feed…if that makes sense! If I want to post a random video of a cute dog I can. I kind of think of it as a mini vlogging channel. I’ll just share random updates from my day, which a lot of the time is food – and I’m more than ok with that! I actually get quite a few messages when I post videos of myself chatting to the camera, and people seem to like that! I think it’s because they get to know you a little more.
- I do love your insta stories! Okay, so now Twitter – top tip for growing a following? How can bloggers best use this platform?
Confession time: I’m a bit rubbish when it comes to Twitter. I use it and enjoy it, but I know there’s so much more I could do. I think it’s because I put so much effort into Instagram it kinda gets a little neglected…sorry Twitter! However, my top tips would probably be post often, engage with others as much as possible, and join in blogger chats every so often.
- I think Twitter is a lot harder as the lifetime of what you post is only a few seconds! Do you use Facebook blogging groups for sharing posts/asking for help/finding blog ops? If so, which are your fave? Do you find them useful?
My facebook is more of a personal page so I don’t really do anything bloggy on there but I am in a Cambridge bloggers group, and I’ve got a few food opportunities from that which have been fab.
- Facebook groups are amazing for opps aren’t they! Are you a Pinterest user? Have you started using Pinterest groups to help grow the reach of your pins? Which are your fave? Any tips for using Pinterest?
I do have Pinterest but I absolutely don’t use it enough. I’ve heard it can be so effective when driving traffic to your blog, but I just haven’t found the time to get really into it…watch this space though! (hopefully)
- I would definitely recommend it for building blog traffic! We’ve talked about the most common platforms bloggers use to get their posts seen but do you have any perhaps unusual ways you get your posts ‘out there’?
I don’t actually use it myself for blogging, but I know some people upload their blogs to LinkedIn. I think it just depends what sort of profile you want to have on there.
- I’ve just started using Linkedin more and I think there’s definitely more to it! Anything that annoys you about social media?
The pressure. I absolutely love social media, it’s part of my career and I obviously do it in my spare time but I think it’s far too easy to feel pressure to post, respond, or just be active all the time.
- Esther, you’re amazing at insta and post THE perfect insta pics – any tips??
This question made me smile so much – thank you Jess! I’ve given a few answers to this question in previous questions, but I do have a few more things I do when taking Instagram photos.
For food photos: I always try and sit near a window in a restaurant. It might seem crazy, but I actually find they’re the best spots and it’s so much easier to get the perfect shot that way. I also think with food photos the best angle is from above. Yes I might look like a crazy lady standing up and taking flatlays of the table when the food arrives, but I guarantee it’s the best way to get a great photo!
For outfit photos: Although outfit photos aren’t my favourite, I still like to post them because I think followers want to see the person behind the account. If I had it my way I would only post selfies or photos that I’ve taken but I like to have a bit or a variety in my feed. Anyway, my top tip for outfit pics would be to stay consistent with your setting. For example I always choose a pastel painted house as my background, don’t ask me why I just like colours and I think it fits nicely with my feed. It’s also cute!
For flatlays: My top tip for flatlays would probably just be to keep trying. If you feel like something isn’t right, move everything around and start again. Add in different props, take some out, shift the items around and you’re more likely to get a shot you’re happy with. Perseverance is key!
Esther you’ve been AMAZING! Please, please go and check out her social accounts below:
If you want to get involved and be interviewed, do get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.