Taking your Blog to the Next Level
Photography by Tom Buck
In Collaboration with Dell
If you follow me on Instagram (@gallucks) or Snapchat (‘gallucks’) you’ll know that I attended The Dell #WeLoveYourWork event last week. The event was focused on taking your blog to the next level whilst showing off the capabilities of the Dell XPS laptop (here). I love to talk all things blogging, I’ve been blogging for a very long time and have seen so much change within the blogosphere over the years – this post is definitely the next step from one of my previous posts on ‘How To Start a Mens Fashion Blog’ (here) which I suggest you read first before moving onto this one.
In this post I’m going to talk about more advanced blogging topics which we spoke about during the Dell event, we had amazing talks from the likes of Shini (ParkandCube), Yinka Omole (HMRC) and a panel discussion with some industry insiders about professionalism in blogging. I know a lot of you guys that read my blog/follow me on social media are very interested in starting your own blogs or are already bloggers yourself so I hope you find this interesting, do leave a comment at the end letting me know your thoughts. Even if you’re not a blogger I hope you’ll find this post interesting as it could be relatable for your own business ideas.
I would like to thank Dell for sponsoring this post and tell you a bit about the new XPS Laptop, It’s the smallest 13.3″ laptop on the planet, it has the worlds first borderless InfinityEdge display, it’s available in all different sizes and specs including touch-screen and tablet versions so everyone can find their perfect laptop. I got to try one out at home and would highly recommend the XPS 13-inch if you’re on the move like I am. See more details over on the Dell website here.
What’s so special about bloggers is that we are our own brand, we are the writer, the model, the PR, the graphic designer, the content creator and sometimes even the photographer. What’s important about the industry we’ve created by ourselves is to know how to carry act in a professional manner so that other industries that we are a part of have the same respect for us that we do for them. If you act professional then you will be treated in the same way. Here are a few tips and talking points on taking your blog to the next level….
Like I said earlier, you are your own brand and what a wonderful thing that is. You have the opportunity to distinguish what it is exactly that you do, whether it’s mens fashion, travel, lifestyle the possibilities are endless. One of the main ways you can brand yourself is by creating a logo. I myself don’t use my logo too often ( I do use a ‘G’ which you can see in the Favicon for my website in the tab above) but my approach to branding is the style in which I do things. My personal style, my photography, the way I edit my images – In fact I shoot with different photographers quite often but all my images are collectively similar because I know exactly how I want them to look. I once shot with a photographer and I told him exactly how I wanted my outfit picture taking, we took a look at the preview and he said ‘it looks just like your blog’ and that’s when I knew I had figured out my own unique style. So if you’re serious about blogging or creating your own brand I would suggest branding everything you do and sticking to it, be different from everyone else as that’s what will make you stand out.
I’m going to be honest and tell you I know very little about graphic design, I had the same blog layout on blogger for years only until January this year when I got a customisable layout from Pipdig. Shini from ParkandCube however knows a lot about graphic design, considering she studied it at Central Saint Martins and now runs her own company called Cube Collective. During our session with Shini we were told about why graphic design is important to a blogger – for instance your blog layout, photo editing and how illustration and calligraphy can really set you apart from the rest of the crowd. Font and typography are something that you can really utilise to make your blog stand out, you can experiment in so many different ways and It’s something I’m going to be working on here on Gallucks.com. Creating your own header/banner, layering your illustrations over your outfit pictures and making your blog layout more use friendly are all things that you can do to take your blog to the next level.
This is something that I pride myself on, I think working in the fashion industry whilst I was blogging showed me exactly what the industry can be like. Different Brands and PR companies will speak to you and approach you in different ways, I think remaining professional at all times is really important. This not only includes how you write your emails and real life events but also deadlines and deliverables from brand collaborations. Think about it, if you’re creating content for a brand and miss the deadline or don’t post what you said you would, the brand might not be looking to work with you again. As the industry has moved forward lot of brand sponsorships now come with contracts that outline what is expected of the blogger and the brand. If you’re looking to show brands that you’re a good brand to work with then you have to work hard to show them just how good you are at your job.
Becoming a Business
Now this is really next level but when your blog stops becoming a hobby and gets to the point where you’re ready to do it full time, here in the UK you need to register for self assessment. Before I even thought about blogging full time I had to make sure I was earning enough money to pay all my outgoings, rent, bills etc and have enough money saved up for emergencies. When I was working at Net-A-Porter I was employed, therefore all my Tax came right out of my paycheck before I even got paid. When you’re a blogger you register as self employed and have to do your own taxes etc, it’s quite a lot of record keeping for someone who’s never done it before and knows nothing about tax. The HMRC website is full of info on what to do when you’re self employed however there’s not that much info on what to do if you’re a blogger. As the blogging world expands further and further I’m sure more information for us guys will appear, until then if you do have any questions about self assessment just call HMRC and ask for advice.
I hope you’ve found this post useful and you get inspired to either further your blogging experience or take it to the next level – but only when you’re ready! I wouldn’t advise rushing into full time blogging before you’re ready because it’s a very big leap and a risky career move, if you do have any questions then just comment below and I’ll make sure to get back to you! Thanks again to Dell for collaborating with me on this post and thank you for reading.