3 Lessons We Have Learnt in Three Years

So to celebrate our blog turning the grand age of 3 we decided to look back at the past 3 years and think of three things we have learnt. It’s hard to think of the most prominent things to share because we taught ourselves everything, and we have learnt A LOT!

I mean we set up our Instagram and had to learn all about the algorithm, we learnt the hard way probs as its taken us 3 years and we haven’t hit 10k yet (give us a follow if you don’t already and help us out we are less than 50 followers away eeek).

We set up our wordpress account and then decided to go self hosted, now that was a learning curve and a half! We taught ourselves how to edit photos and how to edit vlogs. We tried to learn about SEO (still struggling with that one!), and there is so much more!

So here are our main 3 lessons that we wanted to share:

1) When coming up with a name for yourself or your brand never ever use a number. A number can change you see….. when we originally started there was three of us and some of you may have followed us from the beginning when we were threebrits…… well now you probs can tell there are two of us! So this meant we had to change EVERYTHING. Our blog name and layout, our instagram, twitter and our email address. We still have to check our threebrits email address every now and then just in case someone has emailed us! So this advice is for anyone starting out, not just a blog but for anything, really think wisely about your name!

2) When taking photos take them in the SHADE, not in the direct sunshine! When we first started taking pictures we thought that we needed to find the prettiest sunniest spot. It took us a while to realise (and a few squinty photos) but we are so glad we did! The shade is the best place for photos!

3) Be yourself – now this may seem a bit deep and like woahh! However we stand by this and have been ourselves from day 1. We like to portray our real selves on social media and don’t like this whole insta vs reality thing. Okay yes we do photoshoots in advance but when we have full time jobs we have to plan ahead to ensure we have enough content. However when we go out for food we genuinely do eat everything we are given, so many bloggers will take photos, take a bite and then leave the rest. Not us! We eat it all and have been know to eat share a massive starter, 3 pizzas and 2 desserts between the two of us and we are not ashamed!

We also love to go out and enjoy ourselves, we have had many a crazy night/day out and think its important to enjoy life. We have had 2 memorable bottomless brunches; one where we basically walked the entire streets of London and had a fun encounter with a gold buddha and the other where we were ‘slut’ dropping in the middle of central London…. and plenty more to come!

In addition to this when we attend a fitness class, we put our all in and enjoy ourselves. We have been to a number of fitness events where other ‘fitness bloggers’ have turned up late, then hardly participated in the class and then posted on social media how great the class was and how sweaty they are….. nah not us again, we will fully workout!

So our final point – BE YOUR WONDERFUL SELF….. always!

Laughing At Bloggers

Kindest doesn’t cost a thing, so why are many people so unkind?

This is something we have wanted to write about for quite some time but have put it off as it isn’t the most positive of topics. But you know what we want to be real and with that sometimes comes a bit of negativity.

We both work full time during the week so the weekends are the only opportunity we get to create as much content as possible for our blog and Instagram.

Last Saturday we visited a coffee shop in Shoreditch and ordered our first iced coffee of the summer (exciting times), we stepped outside and decided to photograph our coffees, true blogger style of course!

We will set the scene; Rach was holding the coffee in the air as we wanted to get the shop sign in shot, when we noticed a group of friends pointing and laughing at us from inside the cafe. They were doing it in such a way that they actually wanted us to see, it was incredibly rude and made us feel really self-conscious. I asked one of them if they had a problem with what we were doing, to which one of them deliberately tried to get into shot trying to make it impossible for us to get a photograph without him in it. He was laughing hysterically covering his mouth and pretending to spit out his drink, did he not have anything better to do with his Saturday?

We eventually gave up and sat down on the outside seating area angry and upset with what had just happened, we were discussing the situation with one another when the girl sitting beside us who was also friends with this guy turned around and said ‘this is a public place’, we are not really too sure what she meant by this but surely with it being a public place your friend should have a bit of respect and shouldn’t be so rude?  Would he find it funny if we turned up to his job and started laughing at his work?

We don’t mind if people want to laugh about what we do but when you are deliberately being so unkind about us in front of our faces it’s just not very nice at all. We felt like we were back in the school playground and felt so awkward with the situation we had to leave. We wouldn’t have the audacity to be so cruel to someone, how do these people live a life like that? We would feel awful for being so unkind.

This isn’t the first time it has happened either, if happens every single weekend without a shadow of a doubt we will have at least one person point and laugh, sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we wave at them to which they usually look incredibly embarrassed and run away and other times it really gets us down.

We can’t be the only ones this happens to? When are people going to realise that it’s not that weird being a blogger? Especially not in London!

Why we decided to go Self Hosted

For those of you that dont know we set up our blog in October 2015 on wordpress.com, it wasn’t until August 2016 that we purchased our first domain which was www.threebrits.com, in August 2017 our domain was up for renewal and we decided to take the plunge and change our domain to www.two-brits.com as there was now only two of us. Luckily we had only had our domain for a year and although it was annoying because our domain authority was back to 0 we worked our little butts off and got it back up in no time at all.

All throughout 2017 we were talking about going self hosted, we knew we wanted to do it but we just never got round to it. We were confused by the entire process and we didn’t have a chance to research more about it. One of our goals for 2018 in fact it was probably our top goal for 2018 was to go self hosted.

In February we finally purchased a self hosting plan, we did a bit of research on a couple of self hosting plans and decided to go with HostGator. They had a good package and it appeared that their customer service was rated highly as well.

We decided to go for the 36 month plan because it was cheaper to do it this way and it also means we don’t have to worry about paying for another hosting plan for 3 years.

We were about to go ahead and purchase the plan when a pop up appeared offering us ‘3 years for the price of 2 53% off’ so of course we clicked on it and it dropped the price to $200. So a top tip would be to go off of the page for a couple of minutes and when you return you may have a discount code waiting for you!

We payed $200 for the 36 month plan, just a small thing to note is that they will charge you EU Value Added Tax which was about $42 so if you are in the USA it would be even cheaper than $200.

So our plan had been purchased and we were already smashing through our 2018 goals we did a little celebratory dance before thinking OH GOD WHAT DO WE DO NOW!!?? We are not technical in the slightest we have no idea how to export from WordPress.com and import it to our WordPress.org dashboard? LIKE WHAT? in fact we didn’t even know this was part of the process at this point.

So STRESSED does not cover it, we didn’t know what to do! HostGator offer a free migration of content and domain but after a few chats with them on their 24/7 chat we decided to go with WP Beginners (WordPress for Beginners).

We are so glad we went with WP for beginners as they also offer a free migration service. All they require is your WordPress Login & Password & the self hosting Login & Password so make sure you update these to a password you want them to know and and can easily change after the process is complete.

So during the process we were still highly confused and we thought instead of confusing ourselves even more at this stage we will just wait to the migration to take place and we can then go from there.

Make sure you turn your wordpress.com site to private so readers arent still access your site via wordpress.com.

Add in the plugin JetPack and it will move across all your followers to your new and improved site.

WordPress for beginners were literally incredible and we cannot praise them enough! They talked us through the fact we would not be using WP Admin to write out posts, which we didn’t even know about (LOL).

We have now been up and running on our self hosted blog for just over 3 months and it was honestly the best decision we ever made.

Our views have improved, our Domain Authority has gone up and we realised we could finally start making some money from our blog, how you ask? We added google ad sense!

We are so glad we took the leap and went self hosted. If you are completely confused by the entire process just like we were then please do ask us any questions you like! We finally feel like we understand it all now.

The only regret you will make is wishing you started sooner

We will be completely honest with you here, we have a regret about our blog and Instagram and that is not starting it sooner. I mean maybe it wasn’t the right time for us if we had started earlier, it wasn’t like we sat around for ages pondering on whether or not to create a blog, it’s probably best that we take you back to the begging and where this crazy journey begun.

In October 2015 we decided to start a blog, we don’t remember why and we really cannot remember the conversation we had around it, which is really unlike us because we both have incredible memories for things like that but it’s been erased from both of our memories. Maybe we cannot remember because we didn’t see it as being a significant conversation or decision in our lives at the time, it was just meant to be a hobby where we documented some of our lives.

Fast forward 2 and a bit years and we absolutely love it, we don’t know what we used to do before our blog like seriously we must have been so bored. We spend every spare hour of the day we have working on our blog; writing blog posts, creating Instagram content, filming YouTube videos, answering emails and the list could really go on and on and on.

Our dream is to work full time on our blog we want to earn enough money so we don’t have to have a standard 9-5 job, we know this is also so many other bloggers dreams but you know what we think if we work hard enough our dreams can come true. No dream is too big if you put your mind to it, after all the only adventure you will regret is the one you didn’t take.

If you haven’t started a dream that you have been dreaming of doing whether that is a starting a blog, going travelling, moving in with someone or changing jobs you can do it!

So bring on the late nights, early mornings, copious amounts of coffee and constant hard work! We are ready to work harder than ever on our blog in 2018 and you know what we are already off to a good start and it’s only mid Jan, bring on the rest of the year.

Meeting Other Bloggers/Influencers

This time last year the concept of meeting people online and actually meeting up with them would have scared us.  We were worried we wouldn’t know what to say or what to talk about, would it be awkward? How wrong were we!

We used to shy away at events and keep ourselves to ourselves why? We don’t actually know, we have each other so we suppose that is our kind of safety net but we needed to start meeting likeminded people who got this crazy online world.

We have a lot of friends who we love so much and we wouldn’t change them for the world, but none of them run a blog or Instagram, so when we talk to them about certain things like the Instagram algorithm for example it just isn’t the same they look at you like you are mad!

At the end of 2017 we took the plunge and decided to meet up with some of the girls we had been speaking to on social media over the past year. We can honestly say we are so glad we have it was never awkward conversation kept flowing and there was so much we wanted to talk about. Oh and the best part of it? They didn’t find us weird or laugh at us for wanting to take a picture of our food or when we got our camera out to vlog instead they joined in and it was FAB!

Our friends and family who aren’t bloggers seem fascinated by the concept of ‘blogger friends’ but we truly believe that real genuine friendships can be formed online.  It is the norm to meet your partner online these days so what’s wrong with meeting new friends online.

We completely understand that it can be dangerous meeting up with people you do not know so stay safe and make sure you have told family and friends exactly where you are going.

In 2018 we hope to continue the current friendships we formed in 2017 and maybe even meet a few more of you lovelies! Push yourself out of your comfort zone and go and meet some of your friends from the blogging community, stay safe always and have fun!

How Facebook Can Help Your Blog

Up until about 4 months ago we never used Facebook for our blog, we never knew there were groups you could join where PR’s post blogging opportunities. How did we go so long not knowing this? We actually have no idea!

We have recently joined lots of blogging group on Facebook which you can find below:

UK Blogger Opportunities

Official UK bloggers

Health bloggers community official forum

UK fitness bloggers

Some groups are quite strict with their rules so make sure you read through the rules before posting on a photo etc. We accidentally posted our email instead of Instagram handle on a post and it got deleted (woops). They didn’t tell us it had been deleted though only commented on the photo to remind people not to leave emails so if we hadn’t of checked we could have missed out on the opportunity so definitely make sure you read the rules. Luckily we reposted with our Instagram handle and on this occasion we were picked.

So how often do you actually hear back from PR companies from posts you comment on I hear you asking. To be honest with you it really varies and depends on how many other bloggers comment on the post. They are obviously going to go with bloggers who match well with their specification and what the company wants, so when you are commenting on posts take that into consideration. There is no harm leaving your details on a post because you never know you may not tick all the boxes but they may like your blog/Instagram and want to work with you.

We have actually been working with a brand for quite a while now and it is going really well. We are so so glad we spotted their post on Facebook because we may never have got the opportunity to work with such an incredible brand.

We are quite selective with the posts we comment on because at the end of the day we don’t want to be promoting products that don’t fit in with our blog and what we want to write about even if it is a really pretty handbag (or something like that). We won’t be doing the brand any favours or ourselves!

Don’t be scared to leave your details and blog on a post that is asking for you to have a much bigger following or a higher DA because you just never know! They may spot your blog and see just how amazing you are! We have left our details before and been picked so it can happen.

PR companies also post events on these groups which is amazing. We were given the opportunity to attend a fashion week event which sadly we couldn’t make but how amazing would that have been, so definitely look out for these as well!

We would love to know more blogging groups on Facebook so if you know of any please do let us know!

7 Things We Have Learnt About Blogging

Wow we still cannot believe we have been blogging for two years now, the time has gone so quickly and we still think of ourselves as ‘new’ bloggers when in actual fact in the past two years we have learnt so much.

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There is obviously so much more that we have to learn and we are by no means experts at all but we feel like newer bloggers may be interested in reading about what we have learnt and what we wished we knew when we first started out with our blog.

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We recently reflected on our two years of blogging and celebrated our blogs birthday, is that really sad? Probably we made a cake and everything lol. We just wanted to celebrate the special occassion because our blog means so much to us, we would be lost without it. We genuinely cannot believe how quickly the past two years have gone it is like we have blinked and here we are.

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Network- you have probably heard this one thousand times before but honestly network your little butt off. Talk to people when you attend events, get involved on twitter, read and comment on people’s blogs. Basically do whatever you can and feel comfortable doing but make sure you network with like minded people.

Join in twitter chats- We hadn’t even heard of a blogger chat when we first started blogging and it wasn’t until about a year into our blogging journey that we actually started to use Twitter properly, don’t ask us why we just didn’t know it was a place for bloggers to connect. Now we are on twitter every day and try and join in Twitter chats as often as we can, it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. If you can also try and host a twitter chat they are so much fun and also you can decide the topic so it’s a great way to learn new things that you perhaps didn’t know about previously.

Be active and post regularly- be as active as you can across all social media channels and your blog, it will pay off and you will find your stats are improving every day. Who ever said you should have a blog schedule is wrong and we don’t agree with this, post blogs whenever you want because the more you post the more traffic you are likely to drive. We like to connect with people on Instagram by commenting on photos and starting up conversations, it is harder to form relationships on Instagram than on Twitter but keep at it and you will get there!

Good quality- quality is definitely better than quantity in the blogging world. We have learnt to post photos that are of a higher quality, looking back at our earlier Instagram posts is actually hilarious, we have actually archived some now because they were so tragic.

Use hashtags on Instagram- okay so the algorithm may have reduced the impact the hashtags used to have but we definitely still think they help. Not only for receiving likes on Instagram but because people also search for hashtags that they are interested in. We always search for hashtags on Instagram e.g. ParisBrunch or LondonFitness as it helps us find new places to go and try especially when we are going on holiday.

Approach brands- don’t be afraid to approach brands that you want to work with, we have approached so many brands in the past two years and although some may have turned us down because we don’t have over 10,000 followers others have given us so many opportunities.

Don’t say yes to everything- it can be hard at first to say yes to everything because as soon as opportunities come your way you don’t want to say no. If something doesn’t fit the direction you are going in or agree with then just say no. We have had a few brands contact us about detox teas etc. which isn’t something we agree with or want to share with our followers. Saying no doesn’t make you ungrateful for the opportunity it just means you are available to put more time and effort into things that you actually want to do with your blog.

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