I didn’t mean for the title of this post to be so egocentric. I just couldn’t think of how else to put it. I was doing my usual Bloglovin’ rounds the other day and I started thinking about what really makes a difference for me when I look at a blog. Obviously good writing is essential, but when you spend fair bit of time moseying around various blogs you notice the benefits of other features. Five ideas popped into my noggin…

Interesting Post Concepts
I’m always really impressed with bloggers who come up with strong concepts for their posts. Both Jen and Rebecca are great examples of this. In fact Jen even wrote a piece on 10 Different Ways To Vary Your Blog Content, which is perfect for anyone struggling to come up with post ideas. I think everybody enjoys a good haul post every once in a while, but really interesting reads are often more than just showing products that you’ve purchased. It’s more engaging to present things with an idea or perspective behind them.

Good Navigation
I’ve talked about good navigation before. It’s only ever a missed opportunity not to have some form of navigation on your blog. When you put so much work into your posts don’t let them disappear into the past! People need some way of finding them. Consider archives, tags or a related posts widget –  anything that will resurface old work.

Disqus Comment System
Switching from the Blogger comment system to Disqus was one of the best things I’ve ever done blog-wise. Not only does the system look more appealing to me, but it’s also far more user friendly. You don’t have to worry about logging in and out of Google accounts (which is a pain when you have multiple accounts). You can just stay logged into Disqus all the time. Also, some other comment systems have you fill out your name, email and website to leave a comment. I’m not keen on having to do that busy work. It sounds simple, but it’s enough to make people not want to comment. I always appreciate when I go to someone’s blog and see Disqus because I know I don’t have to worry about any of that.

This is obviously more specifically for beauty blogs, but add yo dang swatches… please and thank you. When someone is doing a post about their favourite red lipsticks for example, it ‘ent always enough to take a picture of the tube. I really enjoy seeing swatches, or even better, pictures of the product actually on. Attention to detail makes all the difference.

Original Photography
There’s nothing wrong with using images from alternate sources (provided you list the source). It’s just that sometimes it’s harder to identify with someone’s work when the photographs are coming from elsewhere. Photography is an opportunity to get creative and to stand out. It’s worth giving it a go. If you don’t have a great camera, consider getting some clip on lenses for your phone. They’re a heck of a lot cheaper than a SLR. 

  • I like to see Disqus too. It kind of irks me when it's not there. It's just so easy!

  • Disqus or die.

  • Completely agree with these points, particularly about swatches! Sure the packaging can look pretty, but what does it actually look like on your skin?

    Tessa / Bramble & Thorn

  • I can't believe how much Disqus has changed things, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Great post Holly πŸ™‚

    Isobel x

  • Couldn't agree more, although I am yet to install Disqus…New Years resolution! I still do get surprised though as the amount of beauty blog that don't swatch, or show the product 'on'!

    Annabel β™₯
    Mascara & Maltesers

  • completely agree! especially about disqus, switching my blog over was one of the best things i've done. x

    angela | the sunday chapter

  • Love this idea. I completely agree.


  • I still haven't switched on over to WordPress.org for my beauty blog, but you make a great point about Disqus. I AM more likely to comment if it's the commenting platform. Haha I truly hate the Blogger commenting system… drives me nuts!

    Love this post, lol. All of your suggestions are truly helpful!

  • Disqus is so supreme when it comes to commenting and makes all the difference for me as well!


  • Me too. I just hate having to fill out unnecessarily info to write a comment.

  • Plus swatches are great for getting you to show up on image searches. I find random blogs all the time just looking for swatches of products.

  • Oh yeah, once you have Disqus you'll never want to go back. Plus it's actually really easy to install. All the comments switch over easily. The only thing is you lose the formatting of the comments.

  • Such great tips, I could definitely learn from this!

    Maddy, xo // UNSTITCHEDD

  • Totally agree about disqus, photos and swatches! It's all well and good when people have pretty pictures of a product, but really no help if they don't at least swatch it!

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  • Great Post! I'm going to try and implement these tips on my blog.

    Rose & Raindrops

  • I agree with each and every point! Specially the comment system, it's something that drives me nuts. Blogger's comment system, specially. It even removes my blogloving frame sometimes after posting a comment, and I've had multiple problems with it. Disqus is so easy and appealing, and the fact you get notifications when someone replies to your comment is a big, big plus for me.

    I'm still experimenting and trying to amp up my photography game though, but I think I already improved a bit since my firsts posts. It's just a matter of keeping challenging yourself, experimenting and trying to learn new things.

  • Oh yeah! I completely forgot to mention the advantage of the notification system. That is so much nice. And you can upvote people. I totally agree about the photography thing. Experimenting is what it's about.

  • I love this post and I couldn't agree more. I would say the first thing that draws me to start browsing a blog is the photography and after that it's originality, creativity and honesty which keeps me coming back for more! Your blog is fantastic, one of my favourites.

  • Love this post! I definitely agree with these points! Especially the point about disqus and photography!

  • Thank you so much. I completely agree. Photography is what gets you first, yet most of my favourite blogs are my favourites for the content. It's what makes you actually create a connection.

  • This is really helpful, thank you for sharing this with us πŸ˜‰

  • I wish everybody used Disqus on Blogger. I love how it tells me when someone has replied to a comment or liked it.

  • Yeah their notification system is so much better.

  • This post is amazing…just what I needed as a newcomer to the blogging world! Thanks so much for the tips…I've taken a few on board already and will be coming back for more πŸ™‚

  • I really wish I had the idea to switch from blogger to disqus because I find it a great way to promote my blog. Photography is one the things I notice most about a blog, I hope that mine gets better over the next few months x