Tag: Blogging Advice

Is Having a Niche Really THAT Important?

A quick history about me and this blog: I hated the word “niche”. Seriously. I hated it with passion. I winced at the very word whenever I see it.

In the early days of this blog, I used to rally against its importance. I think I’ve had a few blog posts talking about how I honestly believed you don’t need a niche to have a successful blog.

Do I still believe that now? ABSOLUTELY.

Is Having a Niche Really THAT Important? | Here's what you can do if you plan on going nicheless because the niche life is not meant for you | Blogging tips, Niche blogging

Not gonna lie, though, sometimes I catch myself doubting. Wondering what would happen if I just pick a niche and write most of my posts under that one topic.

Will my blog be more “successful” than I am now?
Will my blog’s growth rate be higher?
Will I feel more validated by all the numbers?
Will the likes of Neil Patel and Lauren Hooker finally notice me* and my tiny blog??

*I need to know, ok???

So let’s take a look at some pros of niche blogging, shall we?

Pros of Having a Niche

Brainstorming for post ideas is a piece of cake*

Since you already have an established niche, you don’t really have to think so hard about what to talk about. You simply need to think of subtopics from one or two general ones. If you’re a fashion and beauty blogger, you can brainstorm for fashion- and beauty-related blog topic ideas.

*Okay, let’s be real here. Brainstorming for post ideas is NEVER cake. (Or if it is, it’s Hagrid’s super-difficult-to-eat rock cake) But you know what I mean.

You can build a dedicated readership and an engaged community around your blog

Finding readers interested in your topic and fellow bloggers who has the same niche is easy (or at least, easier compared to nicheless bloggers.) If you’re good at your niche and you’ve established yourself as someone knowledgeable about it, people will go to you when they need answers or solutions to questions related to your niche.

Which makes sense, really.

I mean, wouldn’t you go ask help for your Herbology homework to Neville rather than to Draco?

Partnering with brands and sponsorships

If you’re looking to partner with brands, having a niche makes it easier to find the perfect brands for you. Or at least, that’s what I’ve heard and observed.

Companies often approach blogs that usually talk about niches related to their brands. Beauty products look for beauty bloggers, restaurants reach out to food bloggers, and unicorn companies reach out to me. Or at least I’m waiting for them to.

Growing your blog becomes easier

Because you can build a dedicated readership more easily and you have the chance to place yourself as an expert of your niche, the growth of your blog is, often times, faster compared to when you don’t have a niche. Readers and visitors generally prefer it when they know what to expect from you. So if you give them that consistency in your blog content, you will be loved.

All of these have one common denominator: niche is good for blog growth. You know, the technical kind. The numbers, the stats, the brand partnerships. The typical criteria for knowing whether you are a successful blogger.

Now let’s look at the cons, yeah?

Cons of Having a Niche

You’re limited to the topic you’ve chosen

I mean. I’m not saying you’re utterly forbidden to talk about the nitty-gritty marketing and then you’d suddenly post pictures of your puppy and tortoise fighting over a banana. But there will be people who’ll think, “Really? You could’ve posted that somewhere else.”

Remember when I said people like it when they know what to expect from you? Well there you go.

It gets meh over time

If you’re anything like me, sticking to just one topic could get boring real quick. You can’t expect me to talk about graphic-printed socks for ten consecutive days. I’ll die from blog exhaustion.

Your blog doesn’t stand out

Especially when the niche you pick is a saturated one (like fashion) or a really really narrow one (like green bananas*). How do you plan on making yourself different from the rest of the crowd? Plenty of ways, actually. But I’ll leave that for another post. Still the challenge to get people to read your blog is bigger.

*It was something off the top of my head (hek hek)

Now see, these three things weigh far heavier to me than any amount of pros. I’m a multi-passionate creative person. If my creativity gets restrained, it’s a deal breaker, Martha. Find someone else.

This is why having a niche isn’t important to me. Still. I’m not gonna lie and say I couldn’t care less if my blog grows or not.

Of course I do.

It’s a lovely sense of achievement to witness your little corner in the Interwebs be read by hundreds of people. Not to mention, the healthy amount of validation* I get from people who find what I write about enjoyable or inspiring. It’s a healthy boost of self-esteem and makes me more confident in what I do.

So what can I do instead? How can I create that sense of consistency found in niche blogs into my blog?

*Yes I like being validated. I’m only human ok???

One word: focus.

Ever since I picked a focus for my blog, it has been far easier for me to:

+ think of future blog post ideas
+ establish my blog identity and what my blog is all about
+ find blogs who talk about similar topics as I do

I like to think of focus as the chiller, more relaxed version of niche. You know, greets the neighbor’s dog, drinks 100% apple juice every night, does yoga every weekend. That kind of guy. He cool and not so stern.

You can blog about supposedly different topics so long as you keep your focus in mind.

For example, my focus is on finding and helping others find creativity, passion and inspiration. And this could manifest in different ways: life lessons from a chicken, listening to a podcast, something that happened in my life.

But with every post, the one thing I always think about is, “Hmm, what’s so inspiring about this story? What insight can I share?”

I even do this with tags. I mean, I might be extremely lucky since all tags I’ve been tagged so far has either one inspiration-leading question or the tag itself is created to spread love and inspire others (aka the beautiful and awesome Kiya’s Beautiful Is Tag)

My point here is, by establishing your blog’s focus, the blogging life gets easier. You can have a good amount of perks a niche blog has without feeling like you’ve squeezed every ounce of gray matter out of your brain thinking of a blog post topic related to that one niche.

The question now is: should you follow my footsteps?

As the great Dumbledore once said: Yes. And no.

Whether you’re a niche blogger or a nicheless one, a sense of consistency in your content has to be present. And if you’re the latter, no doubt having a focus is a good alternative for picking a niche.

But remember: it is not, and will never be, essential to your blog’s growth. The kind that’s beyond the numbers. The kind that will impact you and others in a deeper level.

It is only one of many ways.

At the end of the day, it is up to you whether or not you want to pick a niche or a focus or just go and be completely spontaneous with creating your content. What does not work for me or other bloggers, may work for you.

You do you, my friend. And I mean that in the best, most positive way 😉

YOUR TURN: Do you think having a niche is important? Do you have a niche? What other pros are there that I missed out? Are you nicheless like me? Do you have a focus for your blog? What do you struggle the most about blogging?

I would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂 Share them below!

PS. Did anyone notice the teeeeny-tiny changes I made in my featured image??? 😀 That’s in preparation for a huge blog makeover I’m planning to have soon! Eep! I’m super excited! 😀

Happy blogging, awesome peep! 😉

5 More Places to Find Gorgeous Free Stock Photos for Your Blog

About ten months ago, I shared the places where I get gorgeous free stock photos that I use for my blog. You can see that post, which I edited to match my current “style guide”*, right over here.

A lot has happened to me in the last ten months. But obviously, my love for free stock photo shopping haul hasn’t faded one bit. I’ve been able to find and discover more places that offer super-gorgeous free stock photos. And I thought of sharing them to you. Because why the heck not???

*sorta, but not really. I dunno, “style guide” seemed like too fancy for what I do but I can’t think of any other phrase to use XD

5 More Places to Find Gorgeous Free Stock Photos for Your Blog | I share five more places where you can get super-gorgeous, high quality free stock photos for your blog! | Blogging Advice, Blog Design

A Quick Reminder on Licenses

Always, and I mean A L W A Y S, read the license terms of the website you’re getting your stock photos from. Is it okay for personal and commercial use? Or just personal use? Does the owner of the photos want to be attributed or not?

If you see the phrase “CC0 Public Domain” anywhere in the site, this means that you can copy, modify, and distribute any photo in the site, even for commercial purposes without asking for permission.

Sites that offer free stock photos always have such terms somewhere in their website. Maybe they have a separate page or it’s in the same page as the particular photo you want. I’ll do my best to identify a tl;dr version of each of the websites’ terms below but it always pays to check out the terms yourself. 🙂

Now that we got that done, let’s have the virtual itinerary for where you’re having your stock photo shopping spree, okay? Okay!

Styled Stock

Holy macaroni, the kinds of stock photos provided by this site is <3 If you’re a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, or food blogger, do check this website out. They have gorgeous styled stock photos that make use of white space (which I love) and are super drool-worthy! And if you’re looking for a stock photo in a particular color, you can search their site with photos in that color too!

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use, no attribution needed. But they greatly appreciate a link back to their site.


This site has a huge array of beautiful, high-quality photos. They’re kinda like Pixabay, when you think about it. But I also gotta admit: they have fewer photos that are like the generic stock photos with watermarks you usually see in Google Images compared to Pixabay.

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. CC0 Public Domain. No attribution needed.


I recently discovered this site and I am absolutely in love with it!!! Their photos have this wonderful combination of heavy atmosphere and vibrancy…? I guess that’s the best way I can describe them. Another thing I love about Kaboompics is their search function. Other than giving you the capability to search a certain keyword, they also give you the option to choose either a horizontal or vertical image in a certain color. And you can also download your chosen photo in a custom width.

It also doesn’t hurt that the overall site’s design has a minimalist vibe to it and is very user-friendly. Not much ads crowding the entire page so <3 <3 <3

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. Attribution needed. Redistribution of their photographs is not allowed.

Death to Stock Photo

This is another website I discovered a couple months ago. Their photos are being used by Spotify and Twitter, among other websites and apps. Since there are tons of photographers who collaborate with Death to Stock, you get different styles of photography every project. You can also sign up to their newsletter to get beautiful photo packs every month.

Photos can be: used for commercial and non-commercial use. No attribution needed.


I’ve always loved reading the blog posts on Ivorymix so when I learned that they also give free stock photos every month… well, let’s just say I’ve never typed in my email so fast before. Most of the photos I use as background for my graphics are from Ivorymix’s free stock photos.

Photos can be: used for commercial and personal use. Redistribution of the photos are not allowed. No attribution needed but is always greatly appreciated.

Your turn: Do you do your own blog photography? Or do you use stock photos like moi? I’m sure there are more sources for free stock photos out there, so do you know some that I didn’t mention? Share them all below!

Happy blogging, awesome peeps!

​Choosing the Right Color Palette for Your Blog

Have you ever looked at your blog’s free theme and thought of the other dozens of people using it who all have basically the same look as yours? Maybe you want your blog to look at least a wee bit different than others?

Yo I did, too. And I like how mine looks now. Though, there are still some things I’m currently improving.

“But how can you do it on a free platform, Kate?” I hear you ask.

Well really, it has a lot to do with being creative and resourceful, which I love to do so hey! In the next couple of Saturdays, I’ll be sharing the things I did. And we’ll start with your blog’s color palette!

Before that, though, I have to tell you that these are tiny changes you can do to give your blog that “you” feeling. There aren’t any crazy CSS customization or coding here since it’s not available in WordPress’s free platform.

Now! Color palettes.


How do you know if it’s The Right One? From my experience (and it isn’t much, mind you) it’s somewhere between something you like and something that will tell your readers what exactly your blog is about.

I’ll explain that further below. For now, here are three actionable steps you can take to choose a color palette for your blog.

1 | Get to Know Your Theme

The free themes in WordPress usually have two or three available color palettes that you can choose from. And I can bet ya my favorite watercolor brush they are neutral or versatile colors, colors you can pair up with different other colors.

I mean, I should know. I’ve probably used 5 different themes in the span of two years. #Guilty

The thing is, most blogs I see only use the default colors and then have their own header images. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. But for me, a custom header isn’t enough.

And if you’re like me, then heed this advice: Get to know your theme.

Learn the specs and features available in your theme. Go to Appearance>Customize in your Dashboard and head over to Colors and Backgrounds. There, you’ll see the different color palettes you can use. Tweak them.

2 | Think of Your Blog’s Ambiance

You know how when you enter a cafe with lots of dark and earthy tones, you get this grounded feeling like you could settle there and be reassured? Or maybe you entered a gift shop with lots of light shades and pastel hues. It has this cheerful and happy atmosphere, right?

That, my friends, is the power of color.

(*whispers excitedly* Amazing, right? Riiiiight?)

You can use color psychology to create a certain atmosphere you want your blog to have just like a physical shop. Do you want your blog to feel friendly and light-hearted? Maybe your sassy personality oozes out of your blog?

Here’s an example of pink along with earthy colors giving an ohmigosh-it’s-so-beautiful! combination of femininity and stability. Gorsh, Pantone should hire me XD (from Design Seeds; image via @closetteblog)

Also, consider your blog’s voice. This is the “personality” that comes out of the words you write. Take a good look at how you write your posts and take note of the kind of voice that it has. Does it sound sarcastic? Adorably awkward? Kind and positive?

You could even reach out to a friend or family and ask them to read a couple of your posts. This way, your blog’s colors will align to your blog’s voice.

3 | Use Color Palette Resources

There are sooo many ways and resources available for you to create your own color palette but I’ll mention the three I used:

Adobe Color CC

I freakin love this app! You can use it on a mobile device or a computer. And, the best part, it’s free! You can enter a certain color and the app will show you the different color palettes you can create based on different color rules (analogous, complementary, etc.) or a custom color palette if you wanna DIY.

Adobe Color Wheel

You can also upload a picture and the app will pick the different colors from the photo. And you can change the color mood!

Bless Adobe!

Adobe Color Mood

Mood Board

You can also look for pictures that invoke those feelings you want your blog to have.

Enter mood board.

Last Wednesday, we talked about how mood boards can help in inspiration-needed times and hey! Here’s one! You can head on to the post to know how to create a mood board and I even have 3 free .psd templates you can use 😉

I used a mood board when I was looking for other colors I can maybe add into my palette. Because, you know, creative blog = colorful-ish. But I don’t plan on using them all the time; they’re just minor colors.

Design Seeds

I’ve heard about this site for so long but I’ve only visited the site last October and oh my gosh! If you love colors, I’m sure you’ll love this site. Its tagline is literally “For all who love color”! There are tons of color palettes based on spectacular photographs in Design Seeds and you will leave the site feeling super inspired 😀

Design Seeds Site

The Blog Market has also posted other color palette tools and resources that you can use. Check out their post and their blog! I am such a huge fan of it!

4 | Keep What You Like in Mind

In the previous three steps, I’ve given you tips on choosing a color palette with your readers in mind. I’ve read it plenty of times from different bloggers that a successful blog caters not only to the blogger but most especially to its readers. And this is true most of the time.

With your readers in mind, you can create a color palette that:

+ Creates the atmosphere you want your blog to have

+ Successfully let people know what your blog is all about (e.g., a fun and open blog with lots of good vibes and inspiration, in my blog’s case)

But this doesn’t mean you won’t put what you like into consideration. Remember that this is your space in the vast Interwebs. For one thing, it would be more fun to create posts in a space you actually like to see them in. And at the same time, it would feel more “you”, doesn’t it? Which is why we started this post in the first place.

To make your humble virtual space more yours. 🙂

If you reached the end of this reeaaally long post, thank you so much for reading! 😀 How did you come up with the color palette for your blog? Is there a certain topic you like me to discuss regarding blog improvements? Tell me your thoughts!

Happy blogging, awesome peeps! 🎨

Little Things You Can Do to Grow Your Blog

15+ Little Ways to Grow Your Blog | Wanna kickstart your blog in an awesome way this 2017? Here are several ways you can do right now to grow your blog.

Hey everyone! Last month I didn’t get the chance to talk much about blogging, since I was giving way for holiday-themed posts. Which is why for the rest of January’s Saturdays (and probably February’s too) I will have a series of posts focusing on the topic, giving some tips that can be helpful to kickstart your blog this 2017.

We all started blogging with different purposes. Maybe you were bored or you wanted to improve your writing or you sought for a place to vent (this is how I started) or something entirely different.

But the fact is: we were looking for something and the blogosphere called to answer.

It’s such an amazing place, the blogosphere. It’s huge and you would think since it’s already overpopulated it won’t have any space left for anyone new. But it never gets tired to welcome people in. Never. It’s kinda like the Hermes cabin in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. They welcome everyone!

15+ Little Ways to Grow Your Blog | Wanna kickstart your blog in an awesome way this 2017? Here are several ways you can do right now to grow your blog.

Now as a blogger, there would come a time when you want to improve yourself and grow your blog. This can be done in so many ways and I’ll give you a few (ooh rhymes!) on each aspect of blogging.

1 | Your Blog Design

Out of everything here, improving this aspect of your blog is the most noticeable to readers and visitors. Your blog’s design is important in determining whether a reader would stick around long enough to read what you’ve written or could hit that back button faster than me saying “cheetah.”

According to this site, it only takes a mere 0.05 seconds for someone to form a first impression on a website and determine if they would stay or leave. Even more so, 94% of a person’s first impression on a blog is apparently design-related. It’s like a book’s cover. With just a glance on your blog’s look, a person will determine whether it’s their thing or not.

Here are few ways you can improve your blog design:

+ Create a clean custom header

+ Fix yo’ sidebar (and footer if you can)

+ Create your own color palette

+ Make a favicon

+ Have custom graphics everywhere you can put ‘em

2 | Your Blog Content

I find that the most important improvements for your blog’s content ultimately depend on you:

What are the topics you want to write frequently?

How often do you want to write them?

Think long and hard what your answers for these two questions are. They’re what will help you create the foundation of your blog’s content. But the problem is, they’re pretty subjective. Only you know if you want a niche blog or a nicheless one. Only you know how much you need to post a week or a month to create awesome content.

We all have different limits and capabilities. And so only you can know for sure if something is working well or not. No blogging tip or advice could give that to you.

Now if you already have the answers to these important questions, yay! Good for you! *hands you a rainbow cookie* Here are some more ways to improve your content:

+ Try Out an Editorial Calendar

+ Make Use of Categories and Tags

+ Format Your Blog Posts Neatly

3 | The Important Pages

What are the important pages, Kate? You may ask.

Well, these are the pages that any blog needs to have, no matter the niche or even if you don’t have a niche: the about page or the “start here” page and the contact page.

And if you want to go a little bit further, there are also:

+ Terms of Use

+ Privacy Policy

+ Disclaimer (especially if you make use of Amazon Associates)

+ Archives

4 | Blogging Etiquette

I say blogging etiquette as if I mean The Ten Commandments of Blogging or something, but I don’t.

The blogosphere doesn’t really ask for much. Mainly? Just respect. Respect for the other people in the Interwebs, not just the blogosphere. Respect for other people’s works. Respect.

For example: the “follow me” comments. Those hurt me. I mean, imagine yourself sharing something to someone and that person will just interrupt you and be like, “Yes yes, that’s nice. But listen to this one…”

That’s kinda rude, isn’t it?

Unless of course that person found you in a Link-Up party or a blog party. These things allow you to promote a handful of your posts so I think it’s no question to return the courtesy and visit others’ too. But outside these situations, it’s not really kind to do so. Like you’re using other people’s space to promote yourself or something. It’s spammy.

So how do you show respect to others in the Interwebs? Let me count two ways:

+ Give credit where credit is due

+ Be completely genuine and give thoughtful comments

This is where the growing isn’t only limited to your blog but also comprises yourself as a responsible netizen and, ultimately, as a person.

I’m telling you right now, I’m no blogging expert. Heck, even I am still instilling some of the things here or constantly improving them. *cough*blog design*cough*

See, I like to think we’re all a work in progress. And we can always do small things everyday to improve. And as I’ve said before, there is always a room for improvement. 🙂

I will be discussing some of the points here more extensively in the next few Saturdays so if you are interested in one or more, you can click on that follow or subscribe button so you won’t miss ’em.

Or, you know, just drop a visit every Saturday! My blog is always open 😉

What do you want to improve in any aspect of yourself this year? Do you have some changes planned? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy growing, awesome peeps!

8 Places that Offer SUPER-GORGEOUS Stock Photos for Free


One of my long-term goals here in my blog is to hopefully provide my own quality photographs to use here in my blog. Which means buying a good quality camera (not necessarily DSLR, for starters) and learning basic blog photography.

But until then, I need to rely on stock photos.

When I was younger and Internet-innocent, I had a generalization for stock photos. I always thought they’re… Generic. Meh. People in white background wearing fake ready smiles and obviously staged/choreographed poses.

So I scoured the Interwebs. Visited plenty of blogs with information on the best providers for free stock photos. Consulted the huge Library of Google as I embarked on my three-book journey to find the One True Ring the horde of gorgeous stock photos that I can download and use for free. I don’t require much just:

+ Something with white as a dominant color or not
+ Colorful
+ Perky/Quirky
+ No parts of the human bodies (e.g. fingers typing on a laptop)

I just want you all to know that this isn’t The Ultimate List So Thou Shan’t Read Any Other. These are just the sites that worked for me and have photos that ticks all the boxes for what I need in photos for my blog. So let’s start the party, yeah?

8 Places to Get Free GORGEOUS Stock Photos | I share 8 places where you can get free stock photos that are super gorgeous. Blogging Advice - Blog Graphics

Pixabay Totally free. No attribution needed. My First Love. Most of the stock photos I used in this blog are from Pixabay. It’s easy to navigate and there’s a search bar so it’s a WIN. Other than my favorite desk photos, I found really funky photos here like this one.music owl

Magdeleine Check photo for attribution. Magdeleine has some kind of theme. Their photos have that deep and mellow feel to them. They’re usually in muted shades so if that’s the kind of vibe you’re aiming for your blog then by all means. Personally, I like how they use white a lot from what I’ve seen. And I feel like I could use their photos in Monday Motivation posts or something similar.Magdeleine | Where to Get Gorgeous Free Stock Photos

Gratisography Totally free. No attribution needed but owner would not refuse if you buy him coffee. Where Magdeleine’s are mellow, Gratisography’s photos are cheery and bright. Lots of whimsical photos too.Gratisography | Where to Get Free Gorgeous Stock Photos

Life of Pix Totally free. Use for personal or commercial use. No attribution needed. You know, if this site was an Instagram account, I would click that follow button like there’s no tomorrow. I love how spacious the photos are, I love the angles and…gosh, did I say anything about the huge spaces? Honestly, the style is what I hope to achieve in my own Instagram account.Life of Pix | Where to Get Gorgeous Free Stock Photos

Foodies Feed Totally free. No attribution needed. Oh my Clark Gable, this site always makes my stomach grumble whenever I visit it! I haven’t used or downloaded anything from this site but I’ve seen great potentials and I’ve learned that food will always find a way into your life. So… I’m not closing this possibility. (Teehee)Foodies Feed | Where to Get Gorgeous Free Stock Photos

Creative Convex For non-commercial use only. Need email sign up. Creative Convex is made by the same maker of PinkPot, Chaitra, and she sells styled photos here. However she offers free photo packs for her subscribers. She also doesn’t mind being mentioned in Instagram or linking to her site.

Wonderlass Use however you want but she’d be happy to be credited or linked back to her blog. Need email sign up. Wonderlass is one of the most successful blog in the blogosphere. Alison, the beauty and brain behind this blog, has a thing for bright colors and pretty office supplies. So if that’s what you’re going for in your blog, then give hers a try! She also gives free stock photos for her subscribers.

Say Hello Photos Use however you want but don’t distribute the free photos yourself. Need email sign up. I discovered this one through Creative Market (where ooh! you could also find a free stock photo bundle every week). These photos are specifically for lifestyle bloggers but, you know, they’re gorgeous and anyone who wants to use them can use ’em. Rhonda sends photo bundles every month to her subscribers. I got the one for fall this September and *squeals* I’m so excited to use them.

And there you go! These are the places I go to whenever I need some gorgeous free stock photos. Some additional tips that you may want to take note of before enjoying your free stock photo haul:

• Always look at the license or terms and conditions.

• For consistency, stick to photos with similar styles. For example, I always look for photos that has most or all of what I require, as seen above.

• Go do your thing! I’m not forcing you to sign up for anything. I wouldn’t sign up my email just for the free stock photos or any freebies but also because I genuinely like their blog’s content. I’m all about inbox space-savers yo.

YOUR TURN: Do you use stock photos? If so, did I mention any site where you get stock photos? Don’t be shy to share!

Happy blogging, awesome peeps! 💃