Outfits

How to Get More Comments on Your Next Post

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I was going through some of my old blog posts, and I discovered something quite unexpected: my personal favorite posts were not the most popular.  It seemed so weird at first.  I started questioning myself–didn’t anyone like what I liked?  Was I doing something wrong?

I did some digging, and I noticed a pattern.  The posts that got the most engagement were the ones that gave something of value to the readers.  Things like tips, tutorials, and how-tos.  It totally explains why my post about curating your closet got a lot of comments while my last one was, well, pretty silent.

Now I want to share a little bit about what I learned with you!  Here are a few ways you can get some more comments on your next post:

  1. Come up with a catchy title. Most of the time, when I write up an outfit post, I’ll title it something like this: “Outfit: Obscure 1980s Song Lyrics.”  That’s not really enticing, is it?  Not to mention it’s almost completely unsearchable.  Instead, a great blog post title offers something to the reader–maybe a how-to or a list of tips.  For my last blog post, instead of “Outfit: Blending In,” I bet something like “How to Wear an All-Neutral Outfit” would have gotten a little more noise.
  2. Find a way to help.  Going off the last point, posts that help the reader are the ones that get the most love.  If you can put together a hair tutorial or a review of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) beauty products, I can almost guarantee you’ll see positive results.  Of course, there’s also nothing wrong with some good old-fashioned inspiration.  Showing off an outfit with amazing pics is also an excellent way to attract readers–just make sure you don’t scare them off with a weird title.
  3. Ask questions.  Don’t just leave your reader hanging at the end of a post!  You’ve just spent a ton of time talking, so let them get a chance to weigh in.  If you’re posting an outfit, ask them what they think or how they’d style the dress you’re wearing.  Make it a conversation–and always try to respond to your comments.
  4. Leave comments of your own.  Nothing brightens my day more than a thoughtful comment.  When a person takes the time to write something nice to me, I always check out their blog, and if I have time, I like to return the favor.  The more you get out and engage with other people, the more likely you’ll see them reciprocating.

So what about you?  What strategies do you use to get more comments?

Outfits

Outfit: Blending In

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Redoing my wardrobe has been marvelously helpful in so many ways: I’ve cleared out all the junk in my closet, I’ve learned to shop with intention, and I really look forward to getting dressed in the morning.

But.  (Yes, there’s a but.)

After spending so much time thinking about the kinds of clothes I want to wear, it’s been another thing altogether to put those wants into action.  I’ve spent a lot of time the last few years in little else but A-line skirts and dresses on the blog, which, while flattering, make it easy to hide the parts of my body I don’t like.  (Whether I think things are too big or too small or too short or too long, I won’t say–that’s not the point!) While I’m still very much in love with a good skater skirt, I’ve also found myself drawn to skinny jeans and pants lately–and you can’t hide anything in those.

Sure, I’m in jeans all the time, but I seldom wear them for the blog.  I always told myself it was because they didn’t look “pretty” enough for a blog post, but I do think that part of me always felt a little uncomfortable with how revealing they are.  I was definitely feeling a little insecure when I took these pictures.  People are going to see the parts of my body I don’t like!

The thing is, I really love outfits that incorporate jeans and pants on other bloggers, so why not me?  Why can’t I rock them too?  They’re essential to my new style, and I love wearing them when I’m not going to be “seen.”

It’s something I’m going to have to work out on my own, but I wanted to get this out there. I’m hoping that spending more and more time getting to know my bod in some new clothes will help–it certainly did in the past.

Outfits

How Many Blog Post Pictures Do You Need?

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love taking pictures for this blog.  On the weekend, I can hardly wait for the sun to start going down so I can grab my tripod, timer, and camera to snap a bunch of pics.  When I’m out, I spend a good 30 minutes to an hour working on different poses and camera angles, and I can really get lost in it.

But here’s the thing–when it comes time to write up a post, how many of those pictures are you supposed to use?  I know how much work goes into each picture, but there has to be a limit.  As a reader, I really don’t like blog posts that feature pretty much the same photo over and over, with slightly different poses.  They don’t add any value, so what’s the point?

For the last year or so, that’s been my rule: make your point and move on.  Some bloggers, like A Robot Heart and A Clothes Horse, use their pictures to tell stories, and every shot has something different and interesting.  Other bloggers are all about the outfit, so they show one or two head-to-toe shots and a few detail pics.

A lot of the time, I like going for that narrative quality, but when I’m not, I honestly don’t think I need more than a handful of pictures.  In fact, because this outfit is so simple, I only needed two.

I think there’s a little fear that fewer pictures is a bad thing, but really, I think it’s better to pare down the number of shots you use.  Use only the best ones–the ones that add the most value to the post.

What do you think?  How do you decide which pictures to use for your posts?

 

Extras, Outfits

Outfit: Just The Same But Brand New

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It seems like lots of bloggers have been taking breaks lately.  It makes sense–the holidays can leave you exhausted and yearning for some relaxation.  And it’s a whole new year, the perfect time to reflect on what you’re going to make of the next twelve months.

Like many of you, I spent a few weeks taking stock, which of course includes Mox and Socks.  Ever since I started this blog, something seemed off.  Not the photography; I’ve learned to become a decent photographer in the last two years.  Not the subject matter; I’m a good writer.  No, it was something more fundamental–the clothes.

We as style bloggers struggle more with the identity of our clothes than anyone else.  Our clothes mean more because we want them to mean more.  Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what exactly we want to say, and I’ve had that problem for years.

I never really understood why I didn’t like most of my outfits.  I had all kinds of rules governing how I chose my clothes, and I thought those rules would make me happy.  When they didn’t, I started to copy other people, trying to capture whatever it was that made their outfits stand out.

It took me ages, but I learned some key points that helped me figure out what my style was.  A Clothes Horse’s outfits won’t look right on me because they’re not me.  But this outfit?  She’d never wear it, but it feels exactly right on my body.

In a few days, I’ll recap some of the things I learned in putting together a new wardrobe for myself.  I hope that if you’re having problems with the things in your closet, I can help.

I’ve collaborated with thredUP again, and that site has been invaluable in helping me rebuild and refine my closet.  They had all of the basics I needed plus lots of unusual statement pieces, like this beaded cardigan.  (Side note: that thing is so heavy that my back still hurts–worth it!)  thredUP is literally the only company I can think of that offers (by definition) ethically-sourced petite clothing, so I feel really good about adding to my closet with the things I’ve found there, plus I know they’re going to fit me.

If you’ve never shopped with thredUP before, I have a little goody for you.  You can get 50% off your first-time purchase on their selection of Free People clothing using the code FREEPEOPLE50.  It’s good for up to $50 off!  So go on, check it out!

 

Extras

Outfit: Winter Blues

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Today, I wanted to talk about something I briefly touched on in my last post.  I mentioned that it seems like every winter, right after we roll the clocks back, I start feeling a little blue.  Stress seems to affect me more when it’s cold and dark out, and sometimes I get bouts of anxiety that practically immobilize me.  When it gets bad, you’ll find me sitting in bed, wasting time on my phone because I can’t do anything else, like read or go out.  Nasty thoughts creep up on me, and they rattle around in my head, telling me I’m not good enough (for what??) or that I’m a loser.

But this year isn’t like that.  The anxiety is still there, but over time, I’ve figured out some ways to beat it down on my own.  I’m certainly not opposed to getting professional help (I’ve had both a therapist and a relationship coach this year) or using medication when it’s necessary, but I have some personal strategies that seem to be pretty helpful for when I’m down.

First thing?  No coffee.  For a while, I drank coffee like a Gilmore, but I gradually came to the realization that in addition to boosting my energy, it can also make me feel like everything that ever stressed me out is coming to get me.  These days, I drink lots of tea, but I do have a coffee now and then when I know my day is pretty clear of Things That Worry Me, like deadlines or chores or any little thing.

Speaking of Things That Worry Me, I’ve cut down on those, too.  Taking it easy with this blog has been such a huge relief, and I’m also taking it a little easier with dating.  Now I have more time for other hobbies that help me relax…

…Like working out!  I’ve been a big Blogilates fan for a few years, and now more than ever, I see how much of an effect Cassey Ho and her stupid-hard routines have on me.  Just half an hour every day will give me energy and clear my head until the next day when I get down on my yoga mat again and scream my way through eagle crunches and hip twists.  Sometimes (all the time) it can be really hard to motivate myself to put on my workout clothes, but when I remind myself how amazing I’ll feel afterward, I can endure thirty minutes of leg lifts and other torture.

Now, even with these strategies, I do still have “those” days.  In fact, I’m having one today, and it really sucks.  But I know I have some control over it, and you know what?  I’m gonna put on one of those Blogilates vids and crunch it out.

Outfits

Outfit: Santa’s Elves

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In the last few years, Christmas just didn’t feel the same.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I’d never want to sing carols or decorate or do any of the things I normally love.  My heart had none of its magical holiday joy.

But this year is different.  I’m back in the Christmas spirit!  The cold doesn’t feel so cold, I blast Christmas music in my car and sing all the way home from work, and I’ve even decorated my apartment this year.  While it might look a little sparse, you should know that normally my decorations can be summed up with one (1) stuffed fox toy.  But now?  Garland! Lights! Mugs! Candles!

I’m trying to pin down what’s caused my heart to grow three sizes this year.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s snow on the ground.  Maybe it’s because I’m working out more to control my seasonal depression.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I’m just happy to buzz around town buying gifts and wrapping them and taking Moxie out for winter walks in her smart fleece jacket and red boots.

Happy Holidays, you guys.

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Outfits

Outfit: Hazy Shade of Winter

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Hello!  Even though it’s only been about a week and a half since I last posted, I feel as if I’d been gone a good deal longer.  So much has changed–you can like comments on Instagram! It’s white and snowy in Chicago! And I’ve given up my dreams of being a famous blogger someday!

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Let’s talk about that last point in a little more detail, okay?  I’ve mentioned time and again that blogging stresses me out, and a couple weeks ago, I laid out some of the things that really bother me about the whole process–the biggest are the time commitment and blogger backstabbing. I got to the point where I started to question what I was even doing with this blog.  Did I really want to turn it into a career one day?  Or would I be better off dialing it down to a hobby?

I knew I needed some time to think about it, so I took a week off.  Really off.  This was the first time I completely disconnected from the whole operation.  No posts or likes or comments, nada.  And you know what?  It felt great!  I binge-watched Gilmore Girls, hung out with friends, and slept in on the weekend.  I didn’t think about how I needed to document everything so I could turn it into an Insta story.  I simply enjoyed myself.

And I gave up my dream of turning Mox in Socks into a career.  Far from being sad about it, I’m really very relieved.  I did a lot of reflecting on what it takes to become a popular blogger, and I don’t have it in me. I’d rather spend my time doing other things and maybe picking up some new hobbies.  Maybe I’ll really get into sewing like I said I would, or I’ll develop a passion for dance or I’ll just move to Korea and teach English.  Who knows?

So what does that mean for the future of Mox and Socks?  Well, not much is going to change on the outside.  I love photography and fashion, and you can count on me to always have a couple of outfit posts a week.  But you might not hear from me all that often.  No, if you want me, I’ll be lounging around my studio, reading a book and scratching Moxie’s ears.

 

Outfits

Thanksgiving in List Form, Part 2

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Every year, I like to put together a list of the things I’m thankful for.  Without further ado, here’s what I’m celebrating:

  1. My new camera remote!  I don’t know why I didn’t shell out the $10 for it before.
  2. Having long hair to play with.
  3. The sliver of bed that Moxie allows me to sleep on.
  4. All of my friends and family, who keep me sane at home, at work, and elsewhere.
  5. Living in a town full of astounding architecture.
  6. Coffee, especially when it’s good (but even when it’s not).
  7. Little House on the Prairie (the books, not the show).
  8. Lightroom’s teeth-whitening tool.  I can drink all the coffee I want and never worry about stains!
  9. thredUP.  I buy something from that site at least once a week.  I’m obsessed and I don’t even feel guilty about it because it’s a sustainable/ethical way to buy clothes and it ain’t that expensive. (Not sponsored, I just really love it.)
  10. Inspiration.
  11. Improvement.
  12. Falling in love for the first time.
  13. Moxie Girl!
  14. The new pie shop that opened down the street from my apartment.  I guess I’m not moving now.
  15. The boldness to steal candies from the vice president’s office.  Worth it.
  16. My car.  Even though it’s old and beat up, it still gets me from A to B with very little fuss.
  17. Finally having platinum blonde hair.  It takes a lot of upkeep, but I think it’s the color I was born to have.
  18. Traveling by plane for the first time!  Can you believe I never flew until this year?
  19. Enjoying my day job.
  20. Netflix randomizers.
  21. My glasses.
  22. Being happy with my body.
  23. Blogilates.  Cassey Ho, you’re my hero!!
  24. Breaking up with my boyfriend.  Ultimately, I think this was a good thing, so I’m gonna do my best to feel thankful for it.
  25. My hiking group.
  26. Lazy days off.
  27. Productive days off.
  28. Being petite and living in a time when body positivity/inclusivity is a thing.
  29. Hungryroot.
  30. Velvet.
  31. Treat Yo Self Day.
  32. Being able to stick up for myself.
  33. Living alone (well, except for a certain fuzzy someone).
  34. Being healthy and able-bodied.
  35. My gram’s mashed potatoes.
  36. Podcasts.
  37. Having access to plenty of good books.
  38. Animal shelters.
  39. Easily finding the humor in most situations.
  40. Doggy daycare.  Yes, it’s a thing.  Moxie and I love it.
  41. Milk chocolate.
  42. Getting to leave work at the same time every day.
  43. Grubhub.
  44. Central heating and air conditioning in my apartment.
  45. Moxie’s “hugs” when I come home from work. (Really, she’s just stretching on me, but let’s pretend it’s a hug.)
  46. Everything Lush makes.  The bath bombs, lip tints, shampoos, everything.
  47. Being a woman.  Right now that’s not an easy thing, but I’m glad to be who I am.
  48. My education.
  49. Flannel sheets.
  50. Always having a big Thanksgiving meal.

Even if you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, what are some things you’re thankful for?