Blogging tips

After the overwhelming response to my post My Career as a Professional Blogger, I want to share more tips and advice and will do regularly on my blog right here.

paper and pen on pink background

Photo by Keila Hötzel on Unsplash

I was originally going to call this post ‘Tips for Blogging Success’ but with a background as an award winning screenwriter and director, I quickly realised so much of this advice can be applied to any creative endeavour from freelance writing, blogging to filmmaking and beyond.

You might be familiar with the points mentioned below but they could help to re-familiarise yourself into action, and hopefully this post will reach people embarking on a creative career or simply wanting to up their game. Go for it!

I hope it inspires!

…Please remember this is my personal perspective on what has helped me reach and continue being successful. There’s no one way to succeed and most importantly, not one distinction of what success is (it’s personal to you)… and that’s what makes creativity well, so creative and fabulous!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments and as always, please ask me any questions I might be able to help you with!

Write a Creative Plan

I’ve written about this before in my post Making My Creative & Personal Plan and boy does it change your life, believe me. I also blogged here about The Power of Putting it Down on Paper.

Right now, write down on paper everything you want to achieve, big and small. Dream big people and reach high. Set those wheels in motion. Asking the universe then of course putting in all the hard work, erm works!

I like to write in black and white not type as the act of writing something in black and white just for you, without distraction is empowering and POWERFUL.

In fact, often if you verbalise your genius idea, script or blog post to others and don’t actually write it down or type it out first, your brain can’t distinguish between you having done the work or not, so don’t talk, just write!

I have already ticked off a lot of ‘to do’s’ since January when I wrote my own Creative Plan and it’s now only July!

Some of my goals felt ludicrous at the time of writing yet here I am taking my blog to new heights daily having become a well paid, full time blogger over the last 2 1/2 years, modelling worldwide for a brand I love: Nova Harley, featuring in Vogue for them too and recently been commissioned to be on camera for a film for bareMinerals as well for Selfridges… and so much more. Not bragging just hoping to inspire and make you realise anything is possible people.

You can HONESTLY achieve whatever you want to and the opportunities open to you via your blog and online are endless! So use it!

Always remember: hard work, talent (which we all have and can honed) plus tenacity=success. Whatever you do in any area of life!

Your niche is your VOICE.

Write, don’t stop, keep refining it, take a creative writing course to build confidence if you need to, read widely to be inspired and informed and if you haven’t read this already, check out my all time favourite writing book penned in the 30’s by Dorethea Brande Becoming A Writer to kick start your creative muscles. Brande believed anyone can be writer-incredible, inspiring stuff.

Please note your voice is what is remarkable and original, it’s what keeps your readers coming back time and time again.

CONTENT is KING (and QUEEN)-it makes you stand out so write what you want to read yourself, PASSION shows and excites others! Just be true to you.

I blog about family life, food, film, fashion and beauty-it’s so much easier when you write about what you know and love! If you want to write about what you don’t know that’s great of course too, just put the research in!

Also look under your nose at what is of interest to you (and your readers) and is easily obtainable to help save time. My family own award winning restaurants so it’s fairly quick and easy for me to share their recipes on my blog, something which gives me and my readers great pleasure.

You are your own brand

I understand not everyone can or wants to include their own picture in PR or on their blogs but a face=more followers. It easily connects your readers to you and makes everything more personal. This does not mean not having your face will prevent success, it’s just a great way to connect.

Furthermore, taking the best pictures you can within your means (I have a pro-photographer for a husband so I’m lucky) is ideal.

Shooting with your phone can have great results too-just ensure the light is on your face, you’re NOT shooting towards the light and add filters if you fancy too. Hello Instagram! Make your blog and social media pages a pretty, happy place to be.

I also believe in consistency-keep images of you the same across all networks so your readers know who you are and where to find you! Don’t make life difficult!

Do your Own PR

I know many of my readers are British but think like the Americans-don’t be shy about promoting yourself/your business/your blog/ indie film whatever. My experience in film means doing my own PR is something I’m used to it, I enjoy and know it works!

Of course content is king as we’ve established but you can have the best, most entertaining, moving, inspiring, funny content in the world but if no one knows where or how to find you, then it’s worth very little (unless you are purely writing for your family-my parents still read what I do but I’m happy to have a large and ever-growing readership).

In the same way, you can promote until the cow’s come home (I’m so Northern) but if you offer no or little value when the readers come, they won’t return.

I also say promote across as much social media as you can, engage and chat on twitter (not just pure promotion but do promote too), add your URL’s to Google + which is crucial for SEO, use tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule posts on twitter to save time too, pin on Pinterest, upload on Instagram-and build your audience.

Even a few minutes a day can make a lot of difference. I work it systematically ticking all bases once a post is live.

Once you get started it becomes second nature!

Don’t Let the Fear Cripple You

Fear is there for a reason (to try and keep you safe) but often it can cripple you and your creativity.  I always try to channel it the best I can-positively. Don’t let it beat you. I’m used to being in front and behind of the camera, yet the other day I was commissioned to work with bareMinerals on camera and found myself seriously nervous as I sat in Starbucks drinking decaff cappuccino before going on set.

Two things happened. First Rescue Remedy (love that stuff), secondly and crazily a women in Starbucks Wardour St, Soho who was staring at me, approached me and said she recognised me from my blog and had seen me in a glossy recently (Vogue)-amazing. It gave me the confidence to get on set and just be me.

Now of course in life those series of events might not happen (although do go buy Rescue Remedy immediately if you haven’t tried it)  but even writing down your goals, reminding yourself of the bigger picture, calling a friend or your Mum ( i ring mine constantly) for support to give you a boost or simply taking a short break to get perspective can all help.

Realise fear is there to try and stop you putting yourself in danger and taking RISKS, something artists (US) do every time we create. Don’t let it stop you.

I wrote this post A Creative Life-Pushing Through the Self Doubt that you might find useful with more tips.

Be Confident in You

Try not to compare yourself to others in a negative way. Envy is natural and inevitable but HEALTHY competition is what’s key so channel negative feelings positively. I hand on heart admire those following their dreams and let them inspire me to achieve my own. I celebrate and relish in other’s success.

Jealousy leads to a failure to act and is utterly futile. You are amazing as you- you are the only one with your VOICE, your original point of view, so that makes you unique and valid. Own it. On days you struggle to realise this or envy creeps in, train your brain, the more your fight it and focus on you, the less it will happen. Nothing is stopping you from achieving what you want.

Work It

Remember LUCK is only a tiny attribute to success, we make our own luck. Hard graft equals success. Of course use your contacts, network and don’t be shy. If you like a brand and want to build a relationship, send a tweet, make a call. If you’ve read an article and want to be considered to be featured, email the editor.

If you meet a PR, follow up, send an email, post a thank you card when you’re gifted items. Be professional and you will be remembered and re-hired.

I work with a lot of the same PR’s as well as new business leads daily and although many come to me I’m not scared to email those I haven’t for the first and of course those I work with regularly to enquire about new campaigns/work and remind them I’m here and ready to collaborate if they should need me. Be kind not pushy and always open.

These emails generate work and a great living, so do the same.

Remember when it comes to blogging, it takes time to get to this point and most PR’s want to work with bloggers of a PR Google ranking of 2 and 3. The key to getting there is back to great content, lots of it and self promotion. Generating value will equal work.

Learn to Take Criticism/Rejection

Creative life means criticism and rejection and OFTEN. Learn to take it and use it to improve yourself and your work.

The value placed on creative work by others is subjective, be it the reader, commissioner, employer who brings their own baggage to your blog/product/film so realise you’ll not always be liked (as in life), valued or appreciated and that’s OK.

Motivate yourself, remember why you are doing something and that success and results can take time and of course take on board what you think will improve your work keeping your vision intact.

Don’t ask everyone you know to read the first chapters of your book or blog post-simply ask a few you trust, who have experience in that field or you admire then appreciate the feedback even if you don’t always agree with it. Try and put yourself in their place or the readers and work out how to improve your message.

You don’t have to take everything on board but don’t take criticism personally. ‘Kill your darlings’ as we say in screenwriting is sometimes crucial- characters have to go, plots need to change and work needs rewriting. In fact everything I’ve ever done was rewritten many times, including this post!

SERVE THE STORY (blog post etc), not your EGO!

And that’s it (for now)-we’re constantly learning and that’s what makes the creative journey so rewarding, it tests, challenges and feeds us artists and is so flipping fulfilling!

So have you any questions or want to add tips in the comments.

My advice and what I’m doing for myself, is to keep pushing forward.

Keep truckin’, dreaming, working hard and believing success (and whatever that may mean for you) is possible, attainable and at your fingertips (often literally). Failure is not an option people now go be AWESOME.


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Tips for Creative Success - Honest Mum







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57 Responses

  1. Hannah Mums' Days

    Vicki, this post is so good. Really, really useful – I just love how to the point you are, no ambiguous messages, just do this and do that. It’s exactly what I needed and like Katie I’m going to print it out! I had no idea what google rank was OK from a PR point of view, so I’m happy to hear that I make the grade 🙂

    Thanks again xxx

    • honestmum

      Great, so pleased you’ve found it useful Kerry, thanks for your lovely comment, really love your blog x

  2. Kate Thompson

    This is great and as someone above said, very inspiring. I follow a lot of your tips, but often lose my nerve about going the next step. I’m terrified of transferring to WordPress for example!

    • honestmum

      Don’t be scared Kate, do it. You can’t become a pro blogger if that’s what you want without being self hosted on wordpress! So glad you found the post useful!

  3. Izzie Anderton

    Thanks for this great advice, there’s so much to work on! I’d love to turn my blog into a full-time job, but most definitely need to work on the PR side of things. Onwards and upwards…

  4. Potty Mouthed Mummy

    You should be a motivational speaker! Amazing tips. Something I realised recently is that I always shy away from talking up my achievements or being proud of my blog. Which is nonsense really. Confidence doesn’t have to mean arrogance. I like that this mirrors some of the things we spoke about on the train 🙂 fab post xxx

    • honestmum

      Thanks so much, I totally agree with you, confidence is a beautiful thing and you are right, it doesn’t have to have any relation to arrogance-it’s about believing in yourself and pushing yourself forward. I think we are all guilty of not being ‘American’ enough here in the UK at times and playing down our achievements- I’ve actually trained myself over the last few years to say ‘thank you’ when someone compliments me and it feels good-never talk down your brilliance lady x

  5. Adria P

    My favorites of these tips are:
    1. Make a creativity plan. “I like to write in black and white not type as the act of writing something in black and white just for you, without distraction is empowering and POWERFUL.” This is a strong message for me. I feel like writing something with pen and paper is personal and meaningful. And permanent, moreso than the digital.
    2. Don’t let the fear cripple you. I am just now beginning to follow this advice. I think I may have been afraid of failure and success, of what people thought, and of not being who I though I was. So over it!

  6. Babes about Town

    Oh Vicki as always this is so inspirational and truthful and useful. Can I hire you as my creative life coach? 😉 You’re absolutely right in that there’s nothing more powerful than writing your dreams down and then putting in the work to make them come true (and being prepared to flip the script when life takes you on a different course). Nomita and I have set each other a blog plan challenge (deadline coming up eek!( and that’s another thing I would add to your post — use your friends/creative community as inspiration and motivation to keep driving your dreams forward. Lucky to count you as part of my inner circle girl xoxo

    • honestmum

      Oh Uju I feel the same about you and the girls from Mash, so important to have creative do-ers in your inner circle, people who admire and who you trust, that blog plan sounds amazing! Thanks for this and being brilliant yourself, onwards for us, always xx

  7. Debbie

    As a new blogger I like the upbeat, enthusiastic and encouraging tone of your post. I know that fear and a lack of confidence in my own ability is what causes me to procrastinate sometimes, but I am aware of it and working on it.

    I am slowly getting the hang of Twitter and using both Twitter and Google+ to promote and share posts, not only my own but others too.

    I have done freelance writing in the past, but didn’t really enjoy it as I couldn’t be me. What I really like blogging is the fact that I can be me and write freely as me. I can write what’s on my mind and in my heart.

    I recently watched The Secret for the second time. I encouraged my daughter to watch it too as I believe that The Secret is all about self belief and she wants to be a writer one day. Like you said first ask the Universe then put in the hard work and most importantly believe!! See I am working on it!

    I wish you continued success in your ventures and hold onto that energy.

    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Debbie, I really must read and watch The Secret too, heard great things. I think if you’re passionate, it shows so always carving work out of my passions has helped a lot. Thanks for your lovely words, you are doing all the right things and it’s all there for the taking x

      • Debbie

        I’ve not read the book, but I would recommend watching The Secret – some of it can be taken with a pinch of salt, but I found that there was some equally interesting stuff that made sense in it.

        It’s only about an hour long and well worth it!

  8. Emma

    Fantastic post! really good advice and so good to hear good things happening to good people, yey 🙂

  9. Ghostwritermummy

    This is such a fantastic post. When I did my degree we used to write creative plans (I loved my creative writing degree) and this is by far my favourite tip. I have ticked off so many from my ultimate plan already- writing for a living has been my dream since I was a kid and to actually be doing that now is amazing!- but from reading your plan I know now that I need a more specific plan. I have lots of goals still but also the tendency to let life sweep me up in other directions. Your post has inspired me, thank you! X x x

  10. Jai @ Kiddy Reviews

    Another inspiring piece, Vicki. Your words really do speak volumes and it’s so lovely for you to share your own experiences and words of wisdom. I have recently written down in black and white what I hope to achieve and you are right, it is definitely motivating. Whether it is a tick against an objective or a set back against another, having it written down is a constant reminder and motivator of what you set out to achieve. Thanks again for sharing your words. You should totally speak at the next BritMums Live! x

    • honestmum

      Totally agree Jai, nothing like seeing something in black and white to make you focus. I would love to speak at the next BritMums Live, thanks so much xx

  11. Mel

    Another amazing post, Vicki! I have said it before, but you really are an inspiration to ‘little’ bloggers like me. You are HUGE (as a blogger, not as a person, hihi) yet you are so modest, happy to share tips with the little ones. Thank you so much. x

    • honestmum

      Mel firstly you are not a little blogger, you are incredibly talented, your posts heartfelt, stunning and I admire and feel inspired by you too. Mwah x

  12. Coombemill

    Your confidence and self belief are the key to your success in my view. You know how to make the most of everything you do and I really appreciate you to sharing those tips here, now to build your confidence for myself!

    • honestmum

      Thanks Fiona, hard work, honing the talent and truckin’ forward, feeling as confident as possible does help.

      • Mirka Moore @Kahanka

        I have to agree with Fiona, some great tips, but your confidence is the key! And thanks to having you in my life, I have become much more confident and successful too. THANK YOU xxx

  13. Emma Gordon

    Yet another inspiring blog! I was thinking about what makes all your posts so readable (aside from the obvious fact that they are always really well written I mean!) and I realised as I read this one just now. It’s your honesty, your openness and your willingness to share frank advice with your readers. That’s what makes you real! And having known you as long as I have, I can say that with confidence! Great advice for all us creative calculated risk takers. And I agree, where would we be without rescue remedy!?

    • honestmum

      Oh Emma thanks so much for your touching comment, we have known each other a very long time and it really means a lot to me. I write here how I am in real life and it makes me feel good to share what I know. You too are an inspiration lady and we must meet up soon. I cannot imagine life without RR! x

  14. Triona McKee

    Thank you so much for this!! I agree on pictures/photographs, I’m certainly more inclined to read/follow a blog that has pictures, I feel more engaged with the writer!
    I’m terrible with Twitter, my posts automatically go up on my twitter page, and I kind of forget about it!! I’m really going to start making more of an effort! Time,time,time…..sometimes is mums need an extra 10 hrs in the day!!

    • honestmum

      My absolute pleasure Triona, could definitely do with more hours in the day, seriously though a little attention to social media can make a BIG difference x

  15. Michelle @ Bod for tea

    Yet another inspiring post from the Princess of Professional Blogging! Thank you for your generosity in sharing these great tips and for being so helpful. I LOVED our social media strategy chat group yesterday and immediately took action changing my profile shot across all my channels!

    I’m proud to call you a friend – although unfortunately we only get to meet up online – and you continue to inspire me with your energy. I always come away from reading your posts with a renewed buzz about my blog!

    P.S. Bought some RR in Boots today 🙂 xxx

    • honestmum

      Hi Michelle thanks so much, ooh love that title The Princess of Blogging-what an honour. I loved meeting you and feel privileged to call you a friend too, smart, savvy and gifted at writing, you are achieving so much! I can’t live without RR, hope you like x

  16. Kanchan@ The Intrepid Misadventurer

    Vicki…every sentence is so true and you totally walk the talk! I agree wholeheartedly about the envy and jealousy, what a waste of space in our lives! All of us have something to offer and it’s good, honest hard work that brings success with it! Thank you for being as lovely and as approachable as you are…I bet your personableness (if that’s even a word) has a lot to do with your success! I wish you every good thing…and look forward to knowing you better as we go on! Thanks for a wonderfully inspiring post! x

    • honestmum

      Oh Kanchan thank you SO SO much, I loved meeting you and felt like I’d known you forever-such a smart, warm and charismatic lady. I hope I am personable that means a lot- I think personality and relationships are so important and of course ethos, confidence and mindset, all which can be worked on of course and improved always. I feel like I’m constantly growing as we are all. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment, I admire you greatly and it really touched me x

  17. Ebabee

    Brilliant post and so useful. Even though we may know a lot of these things it always helps to hear it and hear a different perspective. The one part I definitely need to get better at is my own PR. You are so always so inspiring lovely. Thank you for sharing your top tips x

  18. Angela @ My Golden Pear

    I wish I could give you a big hug for this lovely post. All my life I have been happy to stay in the background, working hard but never putting myself ‘out there.’ Only now as I get a bit older I find that to get anywhere in life you have to sell yourself. Nobody else is going to do it for you. All this is not something that comes naturally to me but through blogging I am definitely learning to be better at self promotion. Keep up the good work, you’re doing fab.

    • honestmum

      Thanks so much Angela for your touching comment and wise words, that is so true, you need to promote how wonderful you are so everyone else can know about you xx

  19. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    I am actually sat here with my jaw open, in awe at how amazing (and useful) this post is. And you too, for sharing it.

    Much of this I already know but the PR bit really resonated with me as it’s an area I def need to improve in! There’s so much I can take from all of it though and I’m definitely off to buy that book you mention too.

    Seriously fabulous post Vicki. So awesome I’m going to print it out and read it often, especially when I’m having serious blogging / freelancing wobbles.

    So proud to call you a friend and you remain a blogging hero(ine) of mine. xxx

    P.S Rescue Remedy is amazing, I totally agree. Has got me through many a tricky moment in my life! x

    • honestmum

      Oh so touched by your comment Kate, truly. Glad the PR points are useful, I think it can be hard to get in the self-promotion mind set but so important. You are fabulous so let the world know! I don’t know what I’d do without Rescue Remedy too xxx


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