In Spaces Between: brands, PRs and making money | words by Styling You | design: Fresh by Sian

7 things I learned this week in Blog Land

Nikki Parkinson Life 54 Comments

I think one of the reasons that I’ve fallen head over heels for this crazy game called blogging is that there is always something new to learn.

If you’re a regular here then you’ll have heard me utter those words before.

Sometimes it can seem overwhelming … all the information. Out there, circulating day in day out.

But my crazy brain seems to mostly love it. Can’t get enough.

The other big reason that blogging gets my heart a fluttering is that bloggers are inherently good sharers.

We feed the information machine with information we’ve found and shared from other bloggers and social media platforms. I’ve never come across an industry that does this so freely.

That makes my hear sing.

So in the interests of keeping the sharing and the information machine churning away, this week I’ve rounded up some of the best stuff I’ve read and learned this week in blog land … and filed it all here.

Some of it you may have already stumbled across yourself. Some may be new to you and things for you to take on board as part of your blogging week.

And don’t forget the link-up at the end of the post. Lots more sharing and caring about blogging and social media happening there. Maybe you’ve got a link to add?

1. How to work with brands and PRs

This is one of the big topics I get asked about by other bloggers (and yes there’s an ebook coming … truly). The gorgeous Rach from In Spaces Between interviewed me about the topic last month and that interview is now on her blog. With a graphic that makes my words look good 😉

In Spaces Between: brands, PRs and making money | words by Styling You | design: Fresh by Sian

2. The power of blogs

Earlier this year I asked my readers to be a part of a survey – a survey that would help us find out more about what they’d like featured on this space and whether they were influenced to buy what bloggers wrote about. Here are some of the results of that survey (Styling You was just one of the blogs included in the survey). This influence really does make it even more crucial for us – as bloggers – to take care when working with – and featuring – brands and products.

The power of blogs

3. Instagram is now on your browser

This week Instagram rolled out its web profiles, which means we all have Facebook timeline-like profiles for our Instagram accounts. I was already using Instadesk as a desktop application on my MAC and I know a lot of people use Statigram but I do like the look of the new profiles and commenting is more stable than what I sometimes experience on Instadesk.

Instagram web profiles

4. Facebook tests Pages Feed

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I got a bit antsy about the changes to Facebook pages and the News Feed? I knew I wasn’t alone and Facebook is seemingly responding to the collective “feeling” by testing a separate Facebook Pages Feed. It’s not showing up for me as yet but you can read more about it here. Plus, you can now opt in to receive notifications from the pages that you like. You need to hover your mouse over the “like” button for this option to show. Time will tell if that makes a difference but I’d like to think that ultimately we can choose what we see in our feeds.

Oh, and I hope this clever feature comes to Facebook Pages soon. Have you noticed you can now reply directly to individual comments on some Personal Profile conversations? It’s not showing up on all but how cool is that?

Facebook pages notification opt in5. The Photo Diner

If you’re a beauty or style blogger and feature campaign or flat lay images of current fashion collections on your blog then you’ll want to sign up to this quick smart. The Photo Diner offers bloggers and journalists access to Australian fashion campaign images we would normally have to wait to receive from PR companies. Labels currently include: Bassike, Alex Perry, sass & bide, Antipodium, Deadly Ponies, Carly Hunter, Emma Mulholland, Juliette Hogan, Dress Up, KINOAK, Lonely Hearts, Poms, Rebecca Vallance, Rachael Ruddick, JLH by Jennifer Hawkins, Kirstin Ash, Bloch, Barton Perreira, Soludos, DITA Eyewear, We Are Handsome, and Megan Park. More are being added soon. This is especially handy if you blog after hours. I find accessing this kind of information and imagery invaluable  –  much like I have long used Beauty Directory for beauty images and product details.

The Photo Diner6.  The life of a new full-time blogger

I have a huge amount of respect for the very talented Jen Bishop, who has been blogging for more than a year, but recently made the leap to full-time blogging after her former position as a business mag editor was made redundant. I love Jen’s blog and her perspective on her first two weeks as a full-time blogger – it’s a must-read for all people blogging as a business.

The Interiors Addict

7. Do you know your blog’s purpose?

Bron at Maxabella Loves wrote a post this week that should be a must read-and-ponder for all bloggers, blogging for readership growth. What’s the purpose of your blog? As she says, “you’ve gotta know what you are trying to get out of it in order to make it good”. Couldn’t agree more.

maxabella loves: know your purpose

So, over to you. What have you learned about blogging or social media this week that you’d like to share? Either leave a comment below or if you’ve blogged about it, join this week’s link-up.


Share your blogging know-how

Thanks so much to everyone who plays along with my Saturday blogging linky. Sharing your blogging knowledge with other bloggers and potential bloggers really is how this blogging world best goes round. It’s a bit like having a mini online conference here every week.

Remember if you want to join in, just add your link below. The link needs to be to a post ABOUT BLOGGING (all others will be deleted). Please fill in the box where it says “name” like this: BLOG NAME: Blog post title. That way your blog gets a plug and if you include the title of your post, you’ll attract readers interested in the topic.

[inlinkz id = 33]

PS. If you have an online business that Styling You readers need to know about and buy from, check out the Christmas banner advertising specials I’ve just launched. Buy two months and receive one month free.

  • I love this series of blog advice, keep it coming 🙂

    • Thanks Kylie … it’s coming up to two years since I’ve been doing these Saturday posts. Started as an experiment because I didn’t know if anyone would be interested!

  • Thank you Nikki! After playing with WordPress for a year I have branched and launched my own website and reading this post has just given me a million and one things to think about! Thanks for sharing the love 🙂 And thanks for sharing Photo Diner! I’ve always wanted to do more fashion posts but have been scared off by copyright infringement, what a fantastic way to get great images to make even better posts without ruffling anyone’s feathers – hooray!!

    • Oh brilliant and congrats. And yes, Photo Diner gets around all that and more!

  • I’ve tried and tried to leave my link correctly but it’s not working – whether or not it’s because I am still in hospital and not running on all cylinders I am not sure. But if you wanted to change it Nikki, feel free, it’s
    and the title is Of overshares and Unicorns
    Thanks, Bronnie

  • Another great post. I always love that bloggers are such great sharers. Mostly, anyway. And I’ve actually joined up this week! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Ohh, I commented from my iPad and I see the comment has played truant. Naughty iPad! So I’ll repeat what I said on Saturday morning, which in essence was: Great post, and interesting links to lots of really worthwhile information. Your blogging posts, Nikki are like mini tutorials – love ’em. I need to look at the new Instagram web profile page, and I’ll be tweeting the posts you mention as I read them too:)

    • Thanks Jo – I really appreciate that and glad these posts offer little tutorials for you. I love that other bloggers are sharing their learnings too. It’s how the world goes round. x

  • I love the blogging world. So incredibly supportive and inspiring and interesting. Thanks for another great lesson, Nikki! x

  • Dear Nikki,


    I honestly don’t know how people do this blogging thing well while also managing work and families! But posts like this from you help keep lil’ me in the loop. Many thanks x

    • PS: look forward to hearing more about your upcoming book 🙂

      • It will be an ebook based around things I’ve learned from working with PRs and brands – I get asked a lot about this topic!

  • followmarlaslife

    This really was a great post. Very informative.

  • Thanks for putting all of this in one space Nikki (and yes its always lovely to see Kelly’s smiling face – I just finished reading the new chapters of her book!). What Ive learnt about blogging is not just the technical aspects but the ability to make strong and close friendships with people from all over the country. For me I have a small niche and they cope well with me oscillating between talking about life and loss (and all the spaces in between). I just know after writing for a while that I just need to keep providing insightful content – all the other perks are just icing on the cake.

    • That’s so true – great friendship, the opportunity to write and share … the rest is icing. x

  • Denyse Whelan

    Hi Nikki, thank you for this meme…it’s a ripper. I have posted today and linked too. Its almost 2 years since I started to blog, yet I learn something new each day. You have been my one go-to source for much inspiration and help. Thanks Nikki for helping me stick with this ‘addiction’ to being a blogger. Love Denyse

  • Hmmm…. I particularly like no. 7. NEED TO WORK ON THAT.

    • I don’t think it’s something we should ever stop working on. The purpose can evolve too. x

  • Point 2 – Don’t bag out a brand on social media (ever). I see where you going with this one but I actually don’t agree.

    I was having a really hard time with Australia Post. Multiple problems which remained unresolved for months. It wasn’t until I made a couple of comments on twitter that someone actually called me and resolved my issues.

    Being a comparatively small customer on their database it was the only way I could get them to listen!

    • The post was aimed at bloggers who work with brands, Joey. The internet is forever and it looks unprofessional from a brand viewpoint looking to for bloggers to work with.

      Personally, I’d never take an issue to a brand via social media because I wouldn’t want the same happening to me via social media. I wouldn’t stand outside a store and shout my complaints for all to hear so I definitely wouldn’t do it to a larger audience on social media.

      • Sha

        I agree with you Nikki. I am not a blogger but I am/was/sort of a journalist and it is bad form to use that professional “space” to deal with a personal gripe. The best bloggers/journos use their “power” for good not settling personal scores. There are private and respectful ways of having any personal issues settled. and I would not want to be taken to task publicly on an issue if I was running a business as there are always more than one version of the truth.

  • Tahlia @ the parenting files

    Nikki again, u give a wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Thank you. I keep learning every day as well, especially because of inspiring people like you xoxo

    • Thanks so much Tahlia – I love the daily learning bit. It keeps the mind fresh!

  • Janet

    I was made redundant recently & am now setting up my own business – and a new blog will be part of that. So this info is very timely & helpful for me – thank you!

    • Oh Janet, I’m sorry to hear that. Good luck with setting everything up x

  • Didn’t know about the Instagram header pic, have now checked out mine and it looks good!

  • Thanks so much for the mention Nikki (and thanks for your kind words Jodi!). Blog love and respect right back atcha! x

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    The power of blogs is HUGE i have fallen in love this week with a few more,and even have been thinking about making my own blog,I don’t know if anyone will read it but I might give it a shot,Thanks Nikki,I heart your blog very much.

    • I’ve been waiting to hear those words Lisa! GO FOR IT! x

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Thank -you sweet lady x

  • LOLwhat a treat to see my face on your blog! And love this round up so much. Totally agree that Bron’s post is a must read and am off to check out all the other links now!

    • Couldn’t think of a lovelier face to have there Kelly. Thanks for all your help this week xx

  • Rach // In Spaces Between

    What a wrap up! Huge thanks again for sharing so many pearls of wisdom in our interview – such a fab resource x

  • Fantastic round up Nikki and I had not heard of the new Instagram yet, going to go check it out 🙂

    • You can’t upload photos from your desktop but you can answer comments etc.

  • Great post. I love the article by Maxabella Loves. Off to check out Jen’s blog now. Rachel x

  • Great post Nikki. I don’t think that many know about the Facebook notifications menu yet. And Jen’s blog is awesome, she is such a talented lady.

    • She is Jodi – Jen was actually one of the first people I followed and talked to on Twitter when I joined up in 2009. Have loved watching her follow her passion.

      • Yes, me too and she actually was so kind to promote my Virtual Assistance business in her mag which gained me three clients. She’s just lovely.

  • BabyMacBeth

    CRACKING post Nikki! Such a great teacher for us all…x