How to use Lightroom - Bloggers Guide

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Lightroom is the software that everybody is using at the minute to edit their photos - including myself! It seems quite a daunting thing to use but hopefully, after reading this guide, you'll soon be a pro! I'm going to be discussing both the desktop and mobile version.

♡ Shoot a great photo first!
Lightroom works wonders but it can only work if you've managed to capture a high-quality photo first. I'd recommend turning flash off (unless it's extremely dark) as sometimes the flash can blur out features and fine details, so if you can use your camera without flash. Lightroom can then be used to turn up the brightness and exposure.

♡ Download some presets
This is the easiest option in comparison to adjusting saturation, brightness, colour levels etc. Here's a link for some free presets I've found:

380 Free Lightroom Presets
Sunset Preset

I have to include my favourite Lightroom tool in this post! This tool is especially great if you've got a theme which is a certain colour scheme. So, it is the Colour Mixer. Which you can access on Desktop by clicking the little rainbow circle in the Color tab. If you're using Mobile then you can access it by going to the Color Tab - Mix 

Basically, if you'd like to make a certain colour in the post stand out then head to the Colour Mixer and increase the Saturation and Luminance. You can change the Hue of the colour which will change how the colour looks in the photo. If you're wondering how so many people change the sky to a lilac colour then this is usually what they use. 


How to add photos from your computer or camera:
To upload a photo, all you have to do is go to File - Add Photo however that usually only works if you already have the files on your computer. To upload a photo directly from your camera, you go to File - Import photos and video. This will then open up a window and you will be able to select your camera from the left side of the screen. Your camera needs to be hooked up to your computer first.

How to edit photos:
This all depends on how you like your photos to look but there are so many ways you can edit your photos. So, here are some of my favourite things to do...

White Balance and Tone Curve - This setting is great if you're looking to change the tone of your image. I love making my photos slightly warmer during the autumn months so this tool is great for that!

Saturation - This is an obvious one but it is so helpful if you're wanting your images to really pop!
Exposure - If you've taken a photo in the dark or simply just want to make a photo that little bit brighter then this is the tool for you.
Contrast - This is a setting which can be quite dangerous to play around with as too much contast doesn't look great. But I love this setting for Autumnal photos.
Highlights and Shadows - This is another great setting for adjusting the lighting of your images.

Here's a photo I quickly edited just for the purpose of this post. I have made sure to include all the settings I used down the side:


Personally, I use the mobile version a lot more than the desktop version but that's just because it's a lot easier to use and less time-consuming. So, here are some before and after images of some settings I use on there:

So, first of all, I like to raise the EXPOSURE. As you can see, it makes the image a lot brighter and also a lot clearer. To do this, you click on the Light tab and slide the Exposure to the right. For this image, I went to +1.35. 

Next, I increased the CONTRAST. This makes the colours stand out more and also is great to create that Autumn feel. For this image, I went to +51.

Some of you may think that the left image looks better but for my Instagram Feed I like to go for a more 'moody' look. So, I decreased the HIGHLIGHTS by -78.

I then adjusted the SHADOWS by -8.

I increased the TEMPERATURE to +10 which is one of my favourite tools to play around with. It makes the image a lot warmer and by decreasing the temperature, you can also make it cooler.

Lastly, I increased the SATURATION to +12 and the VIBRANCE to +7 and this just makes all the colours pop and makes the image come across a lot clearer!

I really hope this has helped some of you use Lightroom. If there is a topic I haven't included in this post then let me know and I'll create a part 2!

How to improve SEO - Bloggers Guide

Monday, 8 October 2018

I promised I'd do a post all about improving your SEO on my Domain Authority post which you can read here, as a good SEO will largely help your Domain Authority. I did write a little section on that post which I won't cover in this one so I'd recommend reading that one first as it's all about Permalinks and Keywords. I've seen quite a few websites already that focus on improving SEO but a lot of them are quite long so I'm going to make this a short but helpful guide! Anyway, let's just dive right in...

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is basically a term used which determines whether your posts will show up when somebody types in a certain keyword or search term into a search engine. Without a good SEO, your posts just will not show up in Google which isn't great if you actually want people to read your posts. When people are typing things into Google, it means they want to read articles, websites, blogs etc which will help them or interest them. Therefore, if your post is on the first page or two of Google, people are most likely going to click on it!

Basically, Google tries to show the best results for what the user has typed in. So, to do this Google looks for posts that have the most relevant keywords, best rank, keywords in the title and many other things.

How to improve SEO?

♡ Add a Meta Description for your Blog and Posts.

I had no idea what this was for the first year of blogging so I thought I'd show you exactly how to do it on your blog. A Meta Description is the little caption you get under your posts when they show up on Google. For example:

So, if you're on Blogger or Wordpress then here is how you can do that:

If you want to add a description to your posts then it will show up in your Post Settings in Search Description when you next write a post on Blogger.

Internal and External links are both so important if you want to improve your SEO. Your Internal links can be links to your previous posts and External links can be links to other relevant sites. Just make sure you include them because they can massively improve your SEO.

♡ Site Speed
It's important that your blog loads quicker than about 4 seconds. This is because people are more likely to click off a site if it takes forever to load up. So, in order to improve Site Speed, I'd recommend using a faster host, compressing your images and switch off any plugins you no longer use.

♡ Write high-quality content and improve Bounce Rate
You're probably wondering how your content affects your SEO, well it actually plays quite a big role. If you're familiar with Google Analytics then you would have probably heard of the word 'Bounce Rate'. Bounce Rate is when someone finds your post/blog and doesn't click on any other content or go any further than the landing page. The lower your Bounce Rate, the better your SEO will be. Google will class sites with a bad Bounce Rate as being low-quality posts. Therefore, your posts are less likely to appear in Google Searches

♡ Ensure your blog is mobile friendly
 Because smart-phones are becoming more and more popular, Google are starting to penalize sites that aren't mobile friendly. So, if you're using a theme then ensure it is mobile friendly before you purchase it.

So, there's all my tips and tricks to improve your Blogs SEO. If you have any questions then leave a comment below and I'll answer it as best as I can. 

How to increase your Domain Authority (DA)

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Domain Authority is one of those phrases you hear being thrown around in the Blogging Community and there are quite a few people that have absolutely no idea what it means. I remember when I first started Blogging, I had heard the phrase being used and knew it was to do with how high your site ranks in Google but I didn't actually know how I could do that. So, I thought I'd throw a little guide together on how you can increase your Domain Authority (DA).

What is Domain Authority?

So, to put it simply Domain Authority is a metric that was created by Moz and it determines how high your site ranks in search engines. It is a score from 0-100, 100 being the highest and 0 being the lowest. Moz has recently created a MozBar which you can have as an extension on your browser, it will tell you the DA of each site you visit.

 How do I increase my Domain Authority?

This is the most asked question on this topic, and it is actually quite simple. Your Domain Authority will increase depending on how many backlinks you have to your site. So, the way to do this is by guest posting on other sites, promoting your site on social media and commenting on people's posts (leaving your links of course). However, do not just comment on people's posts with your links or a general comment such as 'great post' as that will be a very easy way to get your comment deleted or classed as spam. 

Create content regularly and to a high standard.
This is probably one of the most important things when it comes to improving your Domain Authority. 

Improve SEO (Search Engine Optimise)
This is another term used in Blogging which confuses a lot of people. Basically, SEO is all about keywords, navigability etc. Now, when it comes to keywords, I don't mean cramming as many keywords as you can into a post because this can actually hurt your SEO. I'm talking about using relevant keywords and long-tail keywords.  For example: 

Instead of: how, to, increase, da, domain, authority, guide, blogging, lifestyle, beauty with lauren, blog tips, seo, google rankings, dogs, cats, love, recipes, beauty, fashion

Use: How to increase domain authority, bloggers guide

See how I've only used a few terms and I'm not separating each word into a separate keyword? This will increase your SEO more than using lots of random keywords that don't even relate to your content.

Where do I add Keywords?
The most important place to add keywords is in your Blog Post Title. I know it can be hard as we all like to use unique titles in our posts but adding keywords is so important! Also, you should add your keywords in the first and last paragraph of your post. If you use Blogger or Wordpress then I'd recommend going to the Permalink section and making sure your keywords are included in there too! A Permalink is the URL of your post.

Blogger Permalink Settings

Wordpress Permalink Settings

I might do a separate Blog Post all about Improving SEO but for now, that's the most important stuff.

Get rid of Broken Links
I'd highly recommend using a Broken Link Checker as they're so much easier than trying to find them all yourself. This is SO time-consuming but it will really help your DA.

Use Internal Links
 Internal Links basically mean linking to other post's you've done within a post. So for example, if I go on to create a post all about 'How to improve SEO' then I'll be sure to link it here. Try to use at least one internal link in each post if you can. However, make sure that it is relevant to the post you are writing.

I hope this guide has helped you and if you have any questions then leave them below and I'll answer them as best as I can. 

The Blogger Behind 'Beauty with Lauren'

Saturday, 6 October 2018

It's quite weird how I've never actually done a post all about me and the 'person behind the blog'. So, I thought seeing as I'm trying to blog every day in October, this would be a perfect post to do! Here goes...

I live in a little village in the beautiful English Countryside with my parents and my 3 brothers. I have a golden retriever dog called 'Charlie', 2 chickens and my brothers bearded dragon 'Reggie'. 
The house we brought needed total renovation which we are in the middle of doing at the moment. We are LITERALLY living in a building site! Every morning, I wake up not to the sound of birds (which you'd expect where I live) but to the Jack-Hammer and Drill. 

My bedroom has been done for about a month now and I went for a Shabby Chic country style room with pale greys and off-whites. I also went for wicker baskets as storage and I'm looking to get a king-size, off-white painted brass bed frame. 

One of my favourite animals is cats! I owned 2 cats in the past but one died and the other was given to my cousin as it wanted to kill the chickens. I will definitely be getting a cat (or two) in the future even though my boyfriend, Jay, is slightly allergic.

Me and Jay also really enjoy baking and are constantly making cakes, cookies etc for our family. In my spare time, I blog (of course) but I also do graphic design work such as illustrations, creating logos/social media headers etc. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself in the comments! 

Depop Haul

Friday, 5 October 2018

I know everyone always hears these horror stories about Depop on Twitter and how you get scammed, people ask for ridiculous discounts etc but truthfully I've never had a bad experience. I've never actually sold anything on Depop so that's maybe why I haven't had any bad experiences but I certainly do buy things on there!

There are certain items of clothing and other bits that I would never buy on there but I certainly don't mind purchasing clothes that are in good condition and have only been worn once/a few times.
Personally, I love watching/reading clothing hauls so I thought it was about time I did one on my blog. Therefore, if you love a good bargain then I'd suggest reading on...

Gorgeous coat originally from Primark! Size 8.

Unbranded Shoes. Size 5. Faux Suede.

Corduroy Jacket. Size 8.
Topshop Grey Jumper. Size 8.

How to style: Black Denim Jeans

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Black Jeans are an essential in everybody's wardrobe but not everybody know's how to style them to make them look more than just 'plain black jeans'.

Black Jeans are so versatile and come in so many different styles. There's Skinny, Ripped, Distressed, Straight-leg, Flared and so many more...
I thought I'd share with you a few tips on how to spice up Black Denim using items you probably already have in your wardrobe.

Baggy/Oversized Jumpers

This method is one of my favourites for the Winter. If you're looking for a more casual look than I would highly recommend purchasing an oversized jumper - or just borrowing an older siblings which is too big for you. Not only is it comfortable, but it also gives you that trendy 90's vibe that's quite popular at the minute.

A Shirt and Heels

Shirts instantly turn casual into classy & formal with ease. Pairing a shirt with black jeans and a nice pair of heels will make it look like you've spent hours getting ready when in fact it took you about 10 minutes. I think this is a perfect outfit for going out for dinner or going for a formal meeting.

A Patterned T-shirt and Trainers

My go-to pattern is definitely stripes. At the moment, I'm loving t-shirts which have bold, coloured stripes like red, blue and yellow. A stripy tee paired with some rolled-up black jeans and trainers is a look that's definitely on trend right now.

Faux-fur Coats

The reason I say Faux Fur is because I personally wouldn't want to buy a coat made of real animal fur. However, Faux-fur coats can make an outfit look so bold and daring. Wearing this with a plain t-shirt and black jeans will definitely draw attention away from the 'boring' black jeans.

Denim Jackets

I love swinging my Denim Jacket over my shoulders for a casual yet stylish look. Denim-on-denim used to be such a no-go when it came to fashion. However, it's becoming quite a craze at the moment. I'm still yet to sport the blue denim with blue jeans but I'm 100% loving a denim jacket with black jeans. Boohoo has some incredible jackets on their website and that’s where I got mine from!

So, I hope you've discovered some new ways to wear your black jeans and transform your look completely.
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