Keeping Up With Karen…

Keeping Up With Karen

You know that scene from Alice In Wonderland when the March Hare scurries past Alice exclaiming “I’m late, I’M LATE!”? Well, that pretty much sums up how my week has been… scurrying around exclaiming I’m late – though when I say ‘scurrying’ I actually mean hobbling *rolls eyes* There’s been so much to do and so little time. Between preparing for our trip to Wales as well as Em’s 1st Transfer Test… there hasn’t been a free moment to catch my breath this week.

Thankfully the first of the 3 transfer tests went without a glitch. It seems such a horrid process for any little primary 7 student to go through as the workload has been utterly gruelling. Seeing her and countless other primary school children flood through the gates of the local grammar school on Saturday morning was heart wrenching. So many anxious little faces and equally anxious parents. There hasn’t been any of this process I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed. Worse still, after her last test in December there’s the waiting game for the results in January, followed by more waiting (well into 2017) to find out what secondary school each child has been accepted into. Such a dragged out process for everyone.

At last we have our trip to Wales to look forward to this week – a break from exams and all the other pressures will do us all the world of good I’m sure. As I’m away, there’ll be a small Blog & YouTube vacation as I very much doubt I’ll get the time or energy with the wedding schedule and family catch ups arranged. However, I do promise I’ve a few super exciting posts lined up over the weeks after I return so I’ll certainly be making up for it!

As for this week’s shenanigans, if you’re in the mood for a glance over what’s been happening on Confetti & Curves lately then why not take a peek at the snippets below. As always, you’re more than welcome to leave a link to any blog posts you’d like me to check out too!

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1000 YouTube Subscribers… THANK YOU

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Tuesday’s post paid tribute to reaching yet another awe-inspiring milestone = 1000 YouTube followers!! I still can’t quite believe my little channel has snowballed this far… a huge thank you to everyone who’s clicked the subscribe button! You’ve made me one very happy YouTuber ❤

If you’ve a channel you’d like me to check out be sure to stop by and leave a comment – I always love meeting new YouTubers!

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How To Promote Your Nail & Beauty Business On A Budget

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Did I mention I’m obsessed with marketing? Actually, it’s one of the business topics I’ve always thrived in! On Wednesday’s chatter, I discussed a few useful hints and tips on how to get the clientele for beauty business rolling in, particularly if you’re on a budget. Definitely worth a watch if you’re self-employed or freelancing in the beauty industry!

Don’t forget, you can *Click Here* to subscribe to the Confetti & Curves YouTube channel so you never miss an upload – and there’ll certainly be more to come on freelancing!

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As always, thank y’all so much for the support, comments, re-tweets, shares, likes & just darn right loveliness. You lot really are an awesome bunch. Do feel free to pop a favourite link from your blog in the comments below for the rest of us to check out, otherwise do stop by & say a quick hello!

Cheerio Chums…

Karen signature

Catch me on:

Twitter   /   Instagram   /   YouTube   /   Facebook

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How To Boost Your Blog Traffic Using TweetDeck…

Increase Blog Traffic Using TweetDeck

As many of you already know, I’m usually technophobic when it comes to embracing new technologies – heck it took me months to familiarise myself confidently with WordPress, and I’ll not even disclose how long my Twitter account sat idle before I forced myself to embrace the world of hashtags… it wasn’t like it was 14 months or anything, pffft *blushes* But every now and again I stumble across something that really holds its value, particularly when it comes to blogging and you guys know how much I love to share my findings!

TweetDeck has vastly became an essential tool when it comes to promoting blog posts, features, interactions and images, when using one of the most powerful social media tools in the blogisphere = Twitter. In fact, whenever I pre-schedule Tweets that include a link to my blog, I quite often see a spike in traffic nestling boastfully in my stats; thanks to just one of it’s nifty features!

So if you’re eager to check out TweetDeck & the benefits it can bring to your blog then today’s feature just might be of interest…

 

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In a rather simplified nutshell, TweetDeck is pretty much a personalised browser that enables you to manage your Twitter account (or multiple accounts) by viewing all user features on one screen. Sounds fab? Well, that’s because it is chums. Basically, you can pretty much see everything that’s going on with your Twitter account(s) right before your very eyes – think of it like the ultimate control panel that’s super easy to use! As well as overseeing all your Twitterly needs, it’s also perfect for scheduling Tweets to help you keep on top of networking even when you’re not around.

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  • You can add as many Twitter accounts as you like… which makes your task of pro actively managing everything under one virtual roof easy-peasy & stress free.
  • If you’re not a fan of constantly scrolling up the column of your Twitter news feed then the live stream enables you to view in ‘real time’ so you constantly see new Tweets flash onto your screen from the moment your Twitter buddies post them.
  • You can make it visibly easily on the eyes by customising colour schemes and text to suit your individual preferences.
  • The layout enables you to view your timeline, interactions with other users, messages and scheduled Tweets on one screen. That’s right, everything you need to see right in front of you.
  • You can easily arrange the columns to suit the information that you want to prioritise so you’re not viewing stuff that’s not important to you, nor are you missing the information you want to see.

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  • The search function also comes in really handy if you’re following a certain hash-tag or if you want to find something/someone quickly. You can also specify the content that comes through on your activity feed which will keep you updated with things that are trending across Twitter.
  • You can easily schedule Tweets for dates/times that you’re not online… even when you close your TweetDeck panel it will continue to post whatever you’ve scheduled.

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TD3

This is where is becomes really valuable… well, it certainly has been for me! One thing many of us overlook is that when we’re cosily tucked up in bed (for example) there’s millions of users the across the globe just logging on. By promoting tweets during key hours throughout the day or night, you’re reaching out to a whole other audience that may not normally see what you’ve been posting previously (unless they personally choose to visit your page). This is super useful for rectifying what you could potentially be missing out on = valuable promotion to pick up new readers & increasing the virtual footfall on your blog. What takes seconds to prepare on TweetDeck can end up becoming extremely valuable for your blogs potential & traffic in the long run! Okay, I agree, blogging’s not just about the numbers, but c’mon, who wouldn’t be thrilled at new readers taking an interest in those features we pour our hearts and souls into, right?

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TD4

If you’re anything like me, then you’ll probably appreciate a visual when it comes to taking the first steps into grasping something you may not be familiar with. If TweetDeck sounds like something that could help you, (particularly when scheduling Tweets) then here’s just how easy it is to get started…

Add Tweet

Step 1: Click on the compose Tweet symbol on the top left of your TweetDeck browser.

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Step 2: Write your tweet – don’t forget to include your link & image if required!

(Check out how to shorten long URL’s further below)

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Step 3: Insert a time & date for when you want your Tweet to be posted.

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Step 4: Your scheduled Tweet will appear in the ‘Scheduled’ list. Don’t forget, you can easily schedule multiple tweets, saving you both time & hassle!

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Of course when you’re composing a Tweet the number of characters you’re limited too can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re trying to cram info, links & an image all at once. In order to help you save a few of those valued characters you can easily shorten the link (URL) that you want to include. If it’s not something you’ve tried before then here’s a quick visual on how to get started… it’s super easy peasy, promise!

URL example 1

Step 1: Highlight and copy the link/URL that you’d like to shorten – in the example above I’ve used a recent blog post.

URL Shortener

Step 2: Get your Google on by searching ‘shorten URL’. I tend to keep the direct link saved on my browsers ‘favourites’ tool-bar, so it’s always easily accessible!

URL Shortener 2

Step 3: Paste your copied link/URL into the ‘Shorten URL’ box & click the small blue box. A more compact version of your link should appear in the top right hand corner, along with a preview of the page your link corresponds with. Simply copy by hitting CTRL + C, then paste into TweetDeck as normal. Voila – job done!

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Have you tried TweetDeck yet? What’s your thoughts on scheduling Tweets, is it something you’ve tested out to help increase traffic to your blog? Whatever your thoughts, I’d love to read them in the comments below so do be sure to stop by and say a quick hello 🙂

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature

Catch me on:

Twitter   /   Instagram   /   YouTube

My Top Tips On Making Your Beauty Blog PR Friendly…

Making Your Beauty Blog PR Friendly

It’s no secret that one of the biggest goals of many a beauty blogger is to collaborate with a wide range of blossoming brands, reviewing the latest lotions & potions… am I right girls? However since launching Confetti & Curves I’ve slowly watched my own blog grow from something so tiny into what feels like a full-time job. Now although I’m not by any means an expert on PR, through my own trial & error (not to mention a wholeeee lotta reading) I’ve picked up a few valuable little tricks that has helped make my blog more appealing to a range of exciting companies. So to kick off Monday’s post, here’s a few of my top tips that just might inspire any budding beauty blogger to create a PR Friendly site that will *hopefully* help welcome some great PR opportunities.

Sitting comfy? Then let’s get started…

Contact Page

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This is SUPER important, yet the vast number of blogs that don’t have a dedicated page highlighting how others can contact them is huuuuuge. Okay, you might have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… blah blah blah… but when a PR representative intends on approaching a blogger they prefer to do it privately & professionally.

WordPress makes it incredibly easy to include a contact form to your blog however do make sure your email address is also readable in plain text format. Some PR reps may need to email you without using the form. If you’re not happy sharing your personal email addy with the world then set up a free one just for your blog!

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About Page

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Although not every one has them, I personally think an ‘About Page’ is incredibly useful – consider it a tiny intro to your online haven if you will. Although you don’t have to be overly specific, useful things to include can be your age, what country you’re living in, hobbies, interests and when & why your blog was born. It literally only needs to be a small paragraph, not your entire life story, however it helps any browsing PR reps make an instant decision as to whether or not their product are right for you.

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Social Media Accounts

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From a personal perspective I find Twitter & Instagram are by far the best for driving traffic to my blog. However whatever you’re signed up to always ensure you have your Social Media links completely accessible down the side bars of your blog, or at the very least nestled in your contact page. If you’ve just signed up to a multi-tude of online hangouts & are trying to build a following it may be useful to include any social media links at the bottom of each blog post. PR reps love to see bloggers making an effort. Showing you’re keen to subtly promote yourself will certainly give you brownie points when it comes to being approached for PR opportunities.

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Content Is Key

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Okay, so lets imagine you’re a PR guru for the next big brand. Your mission, should you choose to accept, *couldn’t resist that line* is to be on the lookout for great bloggers to help showcase, promote & review your products. So what would you be looking for? Does relevant regular content, eye-catching photography, user friendly layout, GREAT CONTACT PAGE *aah hmm* &  active social media accounts seem about right? If so, then there’s your check list. Simples 😉

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TABs

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When someone stumbles across your blog they’ll more than likely take less than 5 seconds to mentally determine whether they want to hang around or click the dreaded ‘back’ button. By having a neat little row of tabs along the top of your page PR Guru’s can easily find whatever relate-able content they may be looking for. If you’re often blogging about more than one topic (i.e beauty, fashion, lifestyle, health & well being) then by organising your posts into individual tabs, new visitors can get an immediate visual of what’s on offer than having to aimlessly plunder through a sea of old posts that’s filled with features that may not tickle their pickle.

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Utilised Space

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Think of your blog as one extreeeeeemly valuable bill board for advertising space, particularly the side bars! By creating your own little side bar Widgets (or image links) you can help show case some of your most popular posts. Remember you’re highlighting valuable content for PR gurus (and readers) by promoting some of your blogs best features so make use of the free space! Widgets are super easy to create on any editing package and you’ll be well impressed by how much extra traffic they create to other posts.

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PR Badge

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Not every blogger wants to be approached by budding brands however if you’re eagerly hoping to take avail of opportunities then it may be helpful to create a little PR badge to display on your blogs side wall… again another reason why that often barren space is so darn useful! I created mine on a simple editing package so it’s immediately recognisable that Confetti & Curves welcomes exciting PR propositions 😀

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Consider Your Audience

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It’s always exciting when you open an email from a company proposing to work together, however before you eagerly reply with a big fat ‘YES!’ there’s a few basic questions you need to ask yourself:

1) Does the product (or collab) fit the general content of your blog?

Meaning: will your readers appreciate it?! Blogging for PR isn’t the same as posting pics from a birthday night out with the gal pals. It has to be well thought out in terms of what the goals are. You’re no longer blogging just for personal pleasure but with a mission in mind – to promote said product or brand. Sure we all love a freebie but if you’re blogging solely to clock up a cupboard full of non purchased goodies you could end up losing the respect of your readers, not to mention having a mish-mashed blog bunged with irrelevant content. Wittering on about eyelash curlers one day & must-have potato mashers the next isn’t exactly relevant now is it?! I do hope you’re nodding in agreement here *sigh* Just don’t forget to reply back with a ‘thanks but no thanks’ email. It’s courteous, it’s professional & although the opportunity may not be right for you, there could always be a next time when it will! Alternatively, if you know another blogger that just might fit the bill you could ask to relay their details instead.

2) What’s the Terms & Conditions?

Before you agree to anything ALWAYS ensure you are 100% clear on what’s expected from you & what you expect from the brand. This is often clarifying how the post will be laid out, content ideas, images, web links to be included, correspondence addresses & if in fact any products are to be returned. Also be clear about who covers the postage and what happens in the event that something arrives damaged? Who’s expected to fork out for a broken bottle of polish or cracked eye-shadow palette? The only stupid question is one you don’t ask!

3) What’s in it for you?

Remember you’re doing this to predominantly benefit someone else… if the product ain’t free then what’s your hourly rate? Might sound harsh but this is eating into YOUR valuable time so ensure you get some remuneration from it – whether that be to keep the goods, a check in the post or at the very least shared on the company’s own social media accounts to help drive traffic and new readers to your blog!

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PO Box

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If (rightly so) you’re not in any way comfortable with sharing your address with a complete stranger via the internet but feel eager to participate in some promotional opportunities then it could be worth while setting up your own PO Box. However do keep in mind these don’t come cheap so you really have to utilise them as much as possible to get your money’s worth. One thing a PO Box will do is give you peace of mind with protecting your privacy. Check in with your local post office for more details on how to set up a PO Box or you can *click here* to view details & prices via Royal Mail’s website.

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Product Positivity

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From time to time we all take possession of products that just don’t work or generally baffle us beyond belief. That’s okay, it’s completely normal. Letting your readers know too is also okay! However there’s a rather bold & obvious line between clear constructive criticism and brand slagging. If you don’t like a product state (diplomatically) why. It’s even better to make realistic suggestions as to what the manufacturer can do to potentially rectify your grumbles. Getting drawn into a hugeeeee rant on a Sunday afternoon over a face mask that left you feeling like you’d stared into the mouth of Vesuvius may certainly capture your readers attention spans but it could end up doing damage in other ways… particularly if you’re expecting a flood of PR invitations any time soon.

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Found this helpful? Then you just might like to feast your peepers upon a few of my other blog related hints & tips:

So You Want To Start A Beauty Blog?

Keeping An Organised Blog

My Top Tips For A Healthy Blog

My Top Five Basic Photography Tips For Beauty Blogging

Do you have any great PR tips for budding bloggers? Whatever your thoughts do let me know in the comments below! As always thanks so much for stopping by & don’t forget to say a quick hello. Wishing y’all a fabulous Monday & week ahead 🙂

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature

PS: HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT THE CONFETTI & CURVES GIVEAWAY YET? *CLICK HERE* TO FIND OUT HOW YOU COULD WIN AN URBAN DECAY NAKED PALETTE OF YOUR CHOICE!

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