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We aren’t experts, nor do we claim to be, but we would like to give you 8 tips to starting a blog.

1) Chose a name for your blog

You might want to keep it to your own name or generic if you don’t want to focus your blog on one area or you could ensure it has the focus in the title so it is easier to search. Also make sure no one else has the name. It may be harder to find a domain name or social media if you do try and duplicate a name.

2) Chose a blogging platform

This is a tricky one because it depends on what you want it for. You could use a free blogging platform such as Blogger or WordPress.com which allows you to set up and use pre-made templates. If you wanted to buy your own domain name it would cost possibly no more than £5 per year and you can have that linked. If you aren’t looking to progress your blog you don’t need to go self-hosted, you can just blog through these measures. If you wanted to make sure your blog in the future had a Domain Authority (the way companies check to see how how you rank) that was not linked to those websites then start with a self hosted wordpress site. We use LCN.com to self host and get a domain name. The cost is roughly £40 a year, which is not a huge amount.

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3) Use a template that you love

There are plenty of free templates to use for your blog through the platform you might use but if you wanted something a little more bespoke you can purchase a template which has been made for your platform. We use a designer called pipdig who has a number of templates which cost roughly £30 – £40 (one off payment) and allows us to have the blog the way we want it and in a simple way. We currently don’t have a logo made yet but you can get one for around £20 if you weren’t very creative yourself.

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4) Always write about things you enjoy

Blogging is a hobby for most people so making sure your content is stuff you enjoy reading or learning about is a key way to keep readers coming back. We have a schedule of writing a blog post each a week on a Tuesday and Thursday and then we also post our vlog on a Monday. It’s entirely up to you if you want to have a structured schedule and honestly I don’t know if it’s any better to do it, it just helps us organise what is going to happen when and where. Especially as the both of us blog.

5) Connect with other bloggers

This is possibly the most time consuming but the most rewarding. Read blogs similar to yours, comment, follow on social media, join blogger groups like UK Bloggers on facebook and generally get your blog seen by other people. I think if you’re a new blogger (like we are) it’s one of the best things you can do.

6) Make sure all your social media is linked

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin’, YouTube, all the things you use regularly to promote your blog make sure is all set up prior to writing your first post.

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7) Publish and Promote

I’t s really important to promote your blog posts as much as you can. If you can schedule your twitter and facebook posts do so (websites like buffer allow you to set social media posts up and just let them go when the engagement is at it’s best).

8) Keep going

It will feel slow but I promise you persistence is key. We have been going for 6 weeks but have had blogging experience individually prior to setting this one up but we do understand that a following will take time and consistent posting. Recognition and reward will happen in the long term but don’t go in to blogging thinking it’s a quick fix because it really isn’t. Work hard and the rewards will come in the end.

I hope these 8 points have helped if you were wondering whether to start blogging or not. Just remember, it doesn’t matter about the subject, if you enjoy it there will be someone else that enjoys it just as much as you.

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On Friday Claire and I ended up going to the hairdressers. This may not seem a big deal but because of my curly hair I have been terrified to go to a hairdresser I don’t know till now.

We rang the salon Rock Paper Scissors in early September as we had seen some good reviews on their facebook page.

The owner, Les, answered the phone and I explained my predicament about being nervous with having curly hair. Instantly he put my mind at rest as he had listened to what it was that I was looking for. Unfortunately  he also said that they were really busy and would be till October. A month!!! That’s mental! But because of my conversation with Les and how at ease he made me we decided to book in at the same time.

When the date came round we parked up round the corner on the road and entered a small salon with three stylists working.

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Claire was sat down immediately and I waited a couple of minutes before having a sit down in the chair so I could walk Les through my curls.

My old hairdresser back in Leicester always straightened my hair for me and then cut it after which helped to shape my hair better.

I explained I didn’t use sulphates or silicones in my hair and was reassured that the products he was going to use did not contain these.

He then offered to do a vitaplex hair treatment on my hair and it wad glorious. It is a 3 step treatment, the first two steps done in the salon and the final one at home. The scent of this is possibly the most gorgeous scent I have ever smelled. It was like rose and peony, my two favourites.

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After the treatment he gently took a wide toothed comb through my hair to try and get all the knots out. My hair is awful if I don’t get it cut regularly and I end up with dreadlocks due to the way it grows.

Lucky he managed to get through without tugging and started to blow dry.

He managed to get it to a stage of long frizz… this is how it normally goes when it’s blow dried as it need to pull the hair straight at the root.

He followed it with a pair of straighteners (they were not GHDs but were infused with argan oil and were brilliant in my hair).

My hair, in just 3 hours, went from tight corkscrew curls to long flowing shiny hair.

20161014_212426He said for it not to have been cut for 2 years it was in great condition and it was down to me not using heat on it regularly and using a t-shirt to dry my hair. Also not using sulphates seemed to be working too.

He took off a teeny tiny bit of hair and shaped in a fringe (slightly) for me. This helps my curls to frame round my face better.

The whole team were lovely at the salon and Les was an absolute pleasure to be a customer for.

Even though he took 3 hours the whole hair cut and blow dry was £20!

I would highly recommend you checking them out if you are ever in the Chesterfield area.