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Blogging, Lifestyle, My Life

4 Years of Blogging

November 11, 2017

Happy 4th blog birthday to me! 

I can’t believe it was four years ago that I sat at home and decided to start this blog. I’d attempted to write a blog before, it was just after graduating and I thought I’d talk about what it was like to look for a job after uni when you didn’t really know what you wanted to do. I soon decided that going travelling was much more exciting than working and once me and Stu had booked our trip, I decided to write my very first blog post.

If you’ve been reading this blog since 2013 then you’d know that is used to be called ‘Frankie goes to…’ and each blog post was called the name of the place we were visiting at the time. This was because that my blog was just a way of writing about our travels and letting everyone at home know what we were up to. I had no idea how big the blogging community was and that blogging could even be a full time job. 

It was towards the end of 2014 that I discovered Bloglovin’ and a ton of blogs that I still love to read today. It was not long after this that Stu and I came home and suddenly I didn’t know what to write about any more. How does a travel blogger keep blogging when they’re not travelling? This was a question that I struggled with for a long time. I wanted to write more but I felt like I couldn’t write about something not travel related on my blog. Eventually I decided to not worry about fitting in a blogging niche and just write about anything I wanted. 

Writing about anything I wanted soon meant that I wasn’t happy with the ‘Frankie goes to…’ brand and I decided to change my blog name to my name instead. I was writing about all aspects of my life so I wanted my blog name to reflect that.

Blogging has created so many wonderful opportunities for me and I’m incredibly proud of my little corner of my internet. I may not have the best photography and I may go weeks and weeks without a single blog post but as long as blogging continues to bring me joy, I’ll still be here. 

Happy Birthday francescaandrews.com

Blogging

I Went On A Copywriting Course And This Is What I Learnt

May 18, 2017
copywriting for bloggers

This post is a bit off-piste but I recently attended a copywriting course with work and found it really interesting so thought I would share what I learnt here for any other bloggers/writers.

What is Copywriting?

In basic terms, ‘copy’ is just words. Copywriting is making those words sound good. You can also use copywriting for SEO purposes but it’s much more fun if you’re not trying to cram a load of key words in to your writing.

Good copy should be easy to read. That means it makes sense, flows well and doesn’t contain jargon. The main tip I took away from the day was to write how your reader speaks, don’t be really formal if you don’t need to be. I did learn quite a few tips and tricks to improve my copywriting and I’ve summarised them all below.

 AIDA

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action and is a common marketing technique. It’s a good formula for a piece of writing if you want the reader to do something (i.e. the action) after reading.

Attention – It sounds obvious but you need to grab your reader’s attention in the first place. This can be a catchy headline, a bit of harmless clickbait or something intriguing.

Interest – Great, you’ve got your reader’s attention, now what? Attention spans are at an all time low. How often have you opened a blog post or news story and just skimmed the first few lines before moving on? Pretty much every time? This is why paragraphs in a news story decrease in importance the further you read. After your attention grabbing headline or strapline, it’s time to get the reader interested. Talk about something that your reader cares about. No one cares about you until you’ve proven that you care about them or can do something for them.

Desire – If someone is still reading then they’re starting to buy in to your story. Now is the time to get the reader to start desiring the ‘action’ at the end. Good techniques to use here are storytelling and backing up your claims with evidence. People buy on emotion and numbers sell.

Action – The action is the most wanted response. What do you want your reader to do after reading your writing? Enter a competition? Leave a comment? Or apply for a job? Make it clear what you want the reader to do. This is the ‘call to action’.

 Powerful Language

The most powerful word in writing? You. By speaking directly to your reader and using words such as ‘you’, ‘us’ and ‘we’, the reader is more likely to carry on reading and feel like your writing matters to them. You’ll notice that Politicians use this technique A LOT!

VAK – The three senses, Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic.

Most people have a preference to one of these three senses so it’s best to use all three to make sure you’re appealing to everyone. Examples of each are:

Visual – Can you see yourself…?

Auditory – Do you like the sound of…?

Kinaesthetic – How would it feel to be…?

Towards/Away

Some people move towards a goal, while others move away from a problem. This one works well for job adverts. For example, moving towards a goal could be ‘Looking for the next step in your HR career?’ and moving away from a problem could be ‘Hate commuting to London every day?’.

Rule of 3

Some Psychologist called Gestalt figured out that humans like a list of three. So use bullet points and examples in threes. You’ll notice that I used this technique earlier in the post.

And there you have it! A quick overview of some copywriting basics. Once you know some of these techniques you’ll spot them everywhere. So many adverts use the rule of three that you’ll actually start to find it amusing. Well you will if you’re a word nerd like me.

I hope you find these techniques useful and can put them in to practice. Let me know how you get on! (This an example of a call to action if you didn’t notice…).

copywriting for bloggers

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently #4

March 19, 2017

Slight disclaimer needed with the title of this post today. I’ve been a bit of a lazy blogger and I actually read these blog posts ages ago but I’ve only just got round to writing about them. Sorry!

Sophie Cliff – Body Image & The Wedding Industry – Now, I’m not getting married but I’m sure we can all relate to Sophie’s words about body image. Society can make us feel like we are constantly chasing a dream body. I think we all need to accept that there is no dream body. If we all looked the same then life would be boring. Embrace your quirks and read Sophie’s post if you ever need a bit of a pep talk!

Zoe London – Why Must I Consistently Compare Myself? – An extremely raw and personal post from Zoe. She opens up about  how she compares herself in all aspects of her life. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and something I struggle with as well. You can tell yourself that you don’t care what other people think but deep down, we all do. I’m not sure how to tackle this problem!

My Mum!

My Mum and Stepdad are currently backpacking the way around the world. They started in Singapore and are now exploring New Zealand in campervan. Could they be any cooler? They’ve started a travel blog to document their travels and it’s amazing to read about what they’re up to. I’m incredibly jealous and want to do my gap year all over again!

As always, I hope you enjoy reading these blog posts and please leave me some recommendations in the comments!

Image source here.

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently #3

January 16, 2017

Happy Monday! I hope your Monday hasn’t been blue or Monday…ish in the slightest. Here’s a roundup of some blog posts I’ve enjoyed recently and there’s a bit of a theme this time around. I’ve noticed lots of positivity from bloggers to other bloggers and plenty of helpful tips and guides to help others improve their blogs or social media. These are my stand outs, hope you find them as useful as I did!

Bonjour, Blogger! – Track Your Statistics –  I find Bonjour, Blogger to be a really helpful website in general. It’s packed full of resources and advice for bloggers – something I definitely need! I’m looking forward to using this tracker to see how my blog changes over the year- mainly because I love a stat!

Jasmin Charlotte – My Top Blogging Tools – Jasmin has put together this excellent guide to all the apps and tools she uses for her blog. Half of them I’d never heard of before so I’m looking forward to trying them out this year.

Robowecop – 9 Tips For Growing Your Instagram –  I love Instagram. I lose so much time just scrolling through my feed. It doesn’t help that I follow so many travel accounts but I get serious envy at other people’s photos. Rhianna has put together her tips on how to grow your Instagram followers. Let’s hope they work! Check out my Instagram here.

There are a lot of useful resources above which I hope will help me raise my blogging game this year. Oh, and yours obviously! Happy Blogging!

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently #2

November 12, 2016

What a week it has been! In fact, what a year! I’m not sure what’s going on with 2016 but I think we all need a little reminder that love trumps hate…

Lauren Rellis – The Spring 2017 Travel Hit List – It’s never too early to start thinking about booking a 2017 trip. Lauren’s list gave me some great ideas and most of the places I had never considered. I immediately started planning a trip to Lausanne in Switzerland after seeing Lauren’s picture!

Alice Rose – Lipstick and/or Politics – I feel exactly the same as Alice about expressing your thoughts on political issues. Your thoughts are part of YOU. There’s no reason not to write about them on your blog if you want. Who cares if you lose some readers, blogs should be a space for discussion on a variety of issues.

Tink Jayne Lifestyle – I didn’t make a baby, but I did make it to Machu Picchu – A post to make you say YES!! Everyone’s life is different, we all know that. And yet, we still feel the pressure to reach certain milestones by a certain age. You mean you’re nearly 30 and haven’t had a baby?! There’s no reason for anything to happen at any time. Just do what makes you happy!

As always, I hope you enjoy reading these blog posts and maybe discover a new blogger!

Blogging, Lifestyle

Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed Recently

October 19, 2016

It can be hard to get your voice heard in the saturated world of blogging. I know I sometimes feel like I’ve written a really good blog post that I’ve spent a lot of time on and then get down heartened when only a handful of people read it. That’s why I want to share some of the blog posts that I’ve enjoyed recently. Please leave any recommendations in the comment section – I love discovering new blogs!

Travel Your Dreams – Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar Review – If you’re anything like me and love a good curry then Lauren’s post will make your mouth water! The restaurant she visited recently with her boyfriend looks amazing and definitely worth a visit if you’re in the Milton Keynes area. Lauren’s blog in general is one to watch. Her personality really comes through in her posts and she has some exciting travel plans coming up which I can’t wait to hear about.

Heels In My Backpack – Is it Irresponsible to Make Travel a Priority? – Kara’s blog is one of my favourites. She’s absolutely hilarious and not afraid to give her honest opinion in any reviews! Kara’s recent post about making travel a priority really hit home for me. Definitely one to read if you do a lot more travelling than your friends.

Hannah’s Beautiful Life – When Life Gives You Lemons – I could never do this blog post justice in a short summary. Just have a read of this powerful piece of writing.

I hope you enjoy reading these blog posts and that you discover some new blogs because of it!