Wednesday, 31 December 2014

It's been a while!

Call it the New Year clean-up or what you will ... it's about time I announced that this blog was closed, although a version of it may well be rising from the ashes in 2015, in which case I'll post details here and on the Blogging for Creatives Facebook Page.

Blogging for Creatives was published in 2012 and written during the second half of 2011. It's still on the best-sellers lists. Browse the Featured Bloggers on this site for inspiration and ideas. Some of them have new blogs now, so bear with me if there are some changed links!


In the last couple of years I've written Blogging for Writers (Nov 2014) and The Golden Tules of Blogging and When to Break Them (May 2015) published by Ilex/Octopus & F+W HOW Books:

- here's the Blogging for Writers website with more details (including links to Blog Tour posts)
- here's where you can buy Blogging for Writers on Amazon UK should you wish (affiliate link)
- or if you're in the US, at the Writers Digest Shop

The best way of staying in touch with me and finding out about my latest publications is to follow me on Twitter.  If you're a writer, I also have a Social Media for Writers blog with a rich archive of useful tips and links, examples and more. You can also sign up for occasional email updates.

Thanks for visiting and I look forward to connecting with you!

Robin Houghton

Friday, 8 November 2013

The 'Rules' of Blogging?

Ah yes I know what you're thinking ... where's she been all these months? Well the truth is, I've been busy tending my poetry blog, and now I feel a bit bad to have left Blogging for Creatives languishing like this ...

Rule number one of blogging - post regularly!

Having said that, I've read some very interesting 'rules' over the years, and I still hear stuff that makes me think hmmm... not sure I agree with that rule ... so what do you think?

Are there 'rules' to blogging? Are rules there to be broken? Are some of them taboo, and others just a matter of taste/choice?

Tell me what's your number one rule, or perhaps there's a commonly held belief about 'how to blog' that you 100% disagree with?

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

A lot has happened in the blogosphere since 2011!

I've just been preparing my presentation for the Britmums Live conference taking place in a couple of weeks, and it's been really interesting to revisit some of the blogs and other resources I researched for the book back in the summer of 2011.

Many blogs have undergone 'refurbs' and are looking mighty smart. For example, Bleubird has a new masthead and minimal layout:
Bleubird Vintage blog

And Bright, Bold and Beautiful the masthead now boasts more white space, clearer social sharing buttons and wider column widths:

Bright, Bold & Beautiful

Many top bloggers are still on hosted platforms, which in a way I find encouraging, having moved my two other blogs to last year much to the surprise of colleagues. "Why would you opt for hosted rather than self-hosted?" I am often asked. And the answer is really to do with time and convenience. I don't want to have to worry about backups, endless plugin and theme updates, rip-off developers (yes, I've fallen prey to my fair share) and other housekeeping issues. I would rather rent than buy, period!

I've been spending more time on my poetry blog than anything else, and am very happy with the theme I chose, although I do have issues with the menus and having to put all the widgets in the footer. I might change to another theme at some point, although I like the minimalist edge to this one.

Then in the big wide world of the internet there have been plenty of changes of course. Posterous got sucked up by Twitter in 2012, and Tumblr by Yahoo! just a few months ago. Picnik closed its doors last year too, with Google adding photo editing to its Google+ platform. I'm less of a Tweetdeck fan now its owned by Twitter, and although I've been experimenting on new social platform I'm still not sure if it's gaining any traction.

But one thing that hasn't changed is what makes for great blog design. At Britmums Live I'll be talking about blog design for beginners: tips, examples, 'need to know' stuff with a few nice visuals. That's the Saturday morning session which will be alongside Alison Rothwell who's talking about SEO. On the evening before, I'm on a panel discussing how to turn an OK blog into a GREAT one. If you're coming to the event, please say hello!

Monday, 13 May 2013

BritMums Live - 6 weeks to go!

I'm excited to have been invited to speak at BritMums Live in London and it's only 6 weeks away. There are so many great speakers lined up I feel like I'm in exalted company. Apparently the event has sold out - brilliant work by Jen & Susanna once again in pulling off a great conference.

If you're planning to come, please say hello - I'll be taking part in a panel on the Friday evening and then on Saturday morning talking about blog design in a session alongside an SEO expert. Should be great fun!

In the meantime BritMums have started a Linky for people to introduce themselves beforehand, so here are my answers to the questions everyone's being asked...

Name: Robin

Blog: 1) Blogging for Creatives 2) Poetgal

Twitter ID: @RobinHoughton

Height: 5ft 6"

Hair: Brown, medium length

Eyes: Brown

Is this your first blogging conference? Actually I think it might well be!

Are you attending both days? I think so, if I'm allowed to stick around after I've delivered my speaker slots.

What are you most looking forward to at BritMums Live 2013?
Meeting BritMums bloggers, learning new things, being inspired ...

What are you wearing? Hmm ... probably 'business casual' if I can figure out what that means

What do you hope to gain from BritMums Live 2013?
Ideas, inspiration, new friends!

Tell us one thing about you that not everyone knows
I was a ball girl for Ilie Nastase ...  at the age of 37!

I'm speaking at BritMums Live! 2013

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Featured blogger: Liz Ayling

My first featured blogger for a while! I'm thrilled to be introducing you to The Red Bistro, a super scrumptious food blog by my old friend Liz Ayling.

Liz is one of those amazing people who seem to have a huge range of talents, coupled with an exemplary work ethic. She's the editor at Malta Inside Out, a colourful site dedicated to offering tips, experiences, knowledge and insights on living, working, playing and holidaying in Malta or moving there.

The Red Bistro (subtitled 'servings from a Mediterranean kitchen') is just one of Liz's many projects, alongside running a busy family home in a gorgeous stone house in Malta. She not only develops the recipes and writes and promotes the site, but also does all the photography. Just check out the range of recipes and you'll see how fabulous photos can really make a blog.

In answer to the question, "Can blogs become a business?" Liz says "I think so - but not without strategy and clear business goals." Watch out for Liz on the food blogging and photography scene, she's a force for good!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Guest blogging opportunities are worth grabbing

A belated Happy New Year! I hope you're feeling motivated for 2013...

The year started off well for me, with an invitation to take part in a panel discussion at the next London Fashion Bloggers Meetup on January 22nd, organised by Diana at (see screenshot below). I'm really looking forward to meeting the bloggers, the event has already sold out with up to a hundred people expected.

Of course, the most daunting thing will be appearing before all those fashionistas - eek! What the hell am I going to wear? Oh well - I guess I'm supposed to know about blogging, not fashion!

It is striking how fashion blogging has really taken off. Last month the Guardian put out a call for new fashion bloggers to join their roster. Although the deadline has passed, this article is worth a read to find out more about the range and types of bloggers they look for - fashion is a huge subject, after all, and there's plenty of scope for a blog to be unique.

Sometimes a one-off guest post can turn into a regular thing. I've done guest blogging stints in the past for Friday Ad, the Marketing Society and even a costuming site. Getting a regular blogging gig at a national paper, magazine or organisation is a great way to reach a wider audience, gain experience and credibility and grow your reputation as a blogger.

These kinds of opportunities do come up, but it's also worth being proactive and simply asking!

screenshot of, a London street style journal