Blog Tips, Pocket / Mobile Blogging & Instagram

Sun 17th, Jun, 2012

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Aloha, Beach Cottage ladies, and I hear we have a few men in the house too from The Netherlands…G’day to The Netherlands ;-) ….so  today we have Blog Tips from my old place and how to blog without having a blog.

So, you wanna blog, like you really wanna blog, you have a million and one ideas busting out of your head at any given time…you wanna blog about your shoes, your new chair you just thrifted, that make-up that just took 10 years off your skin & disguised that last night you were up 3 times in the night feeding the baby or collecting teenagers from parties ;-)

But, you don’t have the time, the dedication, the knowledge, or quite frankly, the energy in your Real Girl life to start a blog.

And you can’t even think about things like which platform to go for, self-hosted blogging?  Errm what is that precisely?

Beach Cottage ladies let me introduce you to Beach Cottage Pocket Blogging – the mobile way to start blogging without too much fuss…it’s a great way to get started and there are easy, simple to use and popular platforms that are out there ready and waiting for you to rock!

So there are a couple of ways to mobile blog from your pocket aka Pocket Blogging but the main one has to be Instagram and it’s taking off in a huge way and because I cannot get enough of it, I am doing some blog tips on how to mobile blog / pocket blog with Instagram.


How To Pocket / Mobile Blog with Instagram


1. Mobile Blog Tips – Set up an account & Just Do It duh!

Easy right?  Errrm yep, couldn’t be easier, download the Instagram app, put your name in, and get raring to go, snap and post…simple!

Yes, but hold on there a minute – have a quick think about the name and why you want to share.

Many people on Instagram are very happy to be on there as JoeBlogsXYZ but if you want to Mobile / Pocket Blog on Instagram it’s fairly important to get a name that is memorable and says you.  Mine is ‘abeachcottage’ – it says me, people can find me easily and it tells people a little bit about what they might find at my place – if you are going to be Mobile / Pocket Blogging about how much you like motorbikes and hope to meet lots of other people with the same interests calling yourself PolkaDotVintageCrochetGirl may not get many people remembering you.

So just have a think about it, don’t stress or fret but think of something appropriate that says you…or of course you can just use your name and go from there, but a bit more of a ‘handle’ can be good here…

2. Mobile Blog Tips - Start posting & Keep It Simple!

Start posting things you see, like and enjoy as part of your day – it’s unique to you and very easy to get going with.

I would go easy on too many Iphone camera apps to start off with though – as you may already know with me I like things simple and easy and to wing it in as many areas of life as I possibly can.

I have learnt that too many apps and too much Googling of which apps will make your photos sing wastes your time…believe me, an app a singing photo will not make – practice a singing photo will make.

I have mucho apps on my phone nowadays that hardly ever get used –  it’s far from a costly exercise if you do start downloading them, we are not talking DSLR lenses here, we are talking a few bucks tops for most of them, but really, when you start off, just stick with what already comes with Instagram…there are enough filters on there to give you a feel for what you like.


3. Mobile Blog Tips – Think about the look & feel

OK, the beauty of Instagram is that you get an insight into the lives of people who you may not know but very much like the look of.  A famous chef comes to mind here who is using Instagram to further his Real Girl image all the way to the bank.  Whether or not it is highly thought out by some Social Media Guru doesn’t matter, it works.  It works because it follows a loose theme, a carefully thought out theme, I dunno, perhaps

But all celebrity chefs aside, what will happen is that you will probably have a theme already because you will be passionate about mobile / pocket blogging your interests, but have a think about it, nothing too serious here, we aren’t writing a media campaign for a politician  - (no doubt they will be all over Instagram soon)

My loose themes, ahem, as you can see by those pictures, are mostly the beach, stripes, vintage things, me prancing about in various items of clothing, mainly scarfs and bracelets wishing I was 65 years younger than I am and any manner of shoes.

Once you have that basic feel of what you will be posting and how it feels, experiment with the different filters on Instagram




You will find the filters all along the bottom of the image once you have uploaded it, you just tap and choose…each one will give your photo a different look – it is said that #nofilter is by far the best way to make your photos popular, I rarely do #nofilter…for me the fun of Instagram is the vintage-ing the eyeballs out of it ;-)

My faves are Amaro, Hudson, Lo-Fi and Nashville and those are the ones I frequently use, but it’s all personal taste, a lot of the Instgrammers I follow use no filter at all or totally different filters to the ones I tend to go for…

You can also click the little sun-like button in the corner for another look – it enhances the photo – sometimes I love how this looks on my photos, mostly not, but it’s worth fiddling around with it on different photos.



4. Mobile Blog Tips – Search & Follow Others

OK this is the fun part – follow  other people you may know, they may be big A-lister celebrities or perhaps bloggers you may have come across in your internet travels… now go and see how they do it….say hello…get interactive and start building a community.

I am amazed with how the Instagram community works, it’s so very different to blogging – on a platform like this it’s just nice and easy and a lovely part of my life nowadays – that sounds silly and a bit wet, but it’s true…

…mostly for me it’s about following people I might never come across in a normal day of mine, it’s about connecting with some others that I would definitely not even know about if it weren’t for a lil bit of Mobile / Pocket Blogging.

For instance, I follow a photographer from Italy, who takes pictures of street life, especially old Italian guys, mostly in black and white.  Love.  I follow a gal from Wales in the Old Country who just tickles my Old Blighty fancy and I follow and await eagerly a girl who thrifts things from a different era to me but I just love seeing what she comes across in her treasure hunting.

And the best thing is that on Instagram you can just hit like easily, or you can say hello to ANYONE – that superstar blogger you follow, well you can leave an instant comment for them or that famous singer you love you can like their stuff…too easy


5. Mobile Blog Tips - Use hash tags

There are a huge amount of hash tags out there and it’s great to Mobile / Pocket blog with them.  You can find a whole community of people by going to your profile and in the ‘Search Instagram’ box putting something in there you might be interested in – you want to be known as the vintage phone expert because you love vintage phones – pop that in the box and see what comes up!

When we got the new addition to the Beach Cottage Crew, that would be Barls, I somehow one evening, deep in the depths of the Sitting Room, cocooned in white and a lil bit of Peroni decided to have a look at the hashtag #puppy.  Three hours later I emerged from a cute puppy overload.  ;-)

Now when you ‘blog’ your photo add a hashtag (that is appropriate to it) and see what happens.


6. Mobile Blog Tips  Find Communities & Memes 

So, there are a LOT of memes, challenges and communities on Instagram.  One of my faves, is, of course, from local blogger Chantelle Ellem aka FatMumSlim with her Photoaday challenge (this month is #PhotoadayJune, find more info on that here).  There are lots more for every niche…lipstick?  yep there would be a lipstick meme.  Where you are standing?  Yep there’s one for that too..

You can find these through looking at other people’s tags on their photos and joining in but also you can find them through a Google search….be warned you might be a while.


7.   Mobile Blog Tips  - Finally Make it a Mini Blog Post!

This is where you turn Instagram into your mini Mobile / Pocket blog – in the comments section write a short couple of sentences or maybe more, about what you are doing.

It makes it more interesting and gets some engagement and I that is why you are doing it in the first place.

When I see something that catches my eye on Instagram, I go over and have a look (I love using Instagram in the evening, it has become for me a real switch off, where I look at photography and people from all parts of the globe) but sadly, often when I arrive at the pic there is a pretty picture but no info at all….and I think oh ;-( I want to know more, I like to know about what is going on – where is it, what were you doing, what colour is that lipstick, where did that jug come from – little things that make up the story…

So on your Instagram post make it into a mini blog post, people will read it and like to hear more of your life – include what you love and what you have been up to (even if you think your life is less than exciting I guarantee you someone else will think it is good b/c they are seeing a window into different things!).





I hope that might have given you some food for thought and shown you my thoughts on how to get into blogging when you don’t really want a blog…

I think that Social Media is changing and moving very very quickly at the moment, particularly in Australia and mobile blogging in your pocket is BIG… blogging as it was is now taking many different forms and I for one am liking that very much…

- if you have an interest and want to share it, working it and making it a super-micro blogging experience could be for you – it’s pretty much instant, it’s not hard work, you can do it anywhere, it keeps your brain alive (!), it will inspire you to live your best life (well it does it for me anyway) and most important of all, it’s VERY easy….but as with most things in life, you’ll only get from it what you put in…

See you then lovelies

I have been to the pub with my lovely husband, it was a good place to go, the weather is very pub-ish too right now, it’s cold, grey and pouring down with rain…it’s a dark dark night on the beaches…love that… I was the one wearing, stripes, a trench and a scarf, taking pics for England, tapping my feet to the live band and lugging down a few…

Did I Pocket Blog it?

Of course I did!

Leave me your comments on micro-blogging and using Instagram, I would love to hear other opinions…what do you think of it all?

Next time then




p.s. thank you very much to all the very kind encouragement for Mr TBC yesterday – gotta say he was stoked with those comments on his photos – he has been out today in the surf and taking more photos of the beach with my camera gear, but if you took the time to comment for him yesterday you’ll be getting an email later …just thanks, I appreciate it.


find more Beach Cottage thoughts on Instagram here and here 

Ten Quick Iphone Photography Tips for Real Girls here



Beach Cottage new e-course!

How to Blog


click here to learn more, available NOW!



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18 Responses to “Blog Tips, Pocket / Mobile Blogging & Instagram”

  1. Blog Tips How To Mobil Blog with Instagram | | Fashion World for She says:

    [...] here:  Blog Tips How To Mobil Blog with Instagram | Comments [...]

  2. Angela says:

    I love IG too. Loads of fun, and some way cool photography out there! Including yours! …and mine!! :) Enjoy! Signing off now from SmithShack71 in Western KY, USA on a very well-loved Saturday morning.

  3. Hey Sarah, so what’s the easy way to get instagram photos from your phone to your blog? I downloaded the instagram app a while ago but haven’t used it, guess I need to play around with it…

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi Sarah, I found photodayjune through your blog and started using IG on June 1, and can I say I love it, totally hooked, it makes me think about what I do each day, a visual diary to look back on and remember. Thanks for all the tips today, I’ll be trying new things from now on to make it more interesting. Cheers wendysone Melbourne.

  5. Rah says:

    I love the captions you add to your IG photos Sarah, it really is like a mini blog over there!
    Thanks for the tips, m’dear :)

  6. Janelle says:

    How many times can I say Thankyou to you Sarah??!!! Love how you are always happy to share what you learn and know and really encourage others to do the same! I am itching to start IG, looks soooo much fun. Am also ‘this close’ (can you see my fingers a cm or 2 apart?!) from starting up my own blog. Very excited I must say to be joining such a fun creative community!! Oh and I didnt get to say “fab job!” mr teen bc, you keep snapping those awesome pics!!! xx

  7. How funny you should post on this as I just started with Instagram just days ago. I really appreciate your tips! I’m already in love with it – somehow it makes me happy, who knew it was what I was missing. Just that small spot to create. ❈

  8. Citifiedgal says:

    Hmm yes, I’m an IG newbie myself. Must say I love it! Started up about 6 weeks ago.. Love the little ‘communities’ and finding peope with similar interests. If I ever need to smile I just click on the ‘Photos you’ve liked’ button and voila! Lots of stunning imagery. :)

    The lazy girl’s blogging method! :) Good tips thanks.

  9. Melissa says:

    As always I learn so much from you Sarah. I brought my new phone this week and have been following you on instagram so I can view more of your awsome photos. However, I was unsure how Instagram really worked so your advice has been invaluable and maybe even giving me the courage to add my own photos! Thanks again!

    • sarah says:

      my pleasure Melissa!

      I would say just go for it…there are no rules on Instagram and it can really make you see your life with new eyes and appreciate the little things… especially if you like taking pictures of your shoes lol!!!

  10. Fleur says:

    Hello Sarah
    Loved this post, kinda makes me think differently about instagram and how to develop themes for it and use it as a micro blogging platform. Going to have a look through and see what common themes I have!
    Im like you I know there are purists out there, but I love the filters.
    Im still on a iPhone 3 the very first iPhone that came out…. hanging out for the iPhone 5 – coz it will change my life… won’t it?
    I also like it when you see different content from your fave bloggers that you don’t see on their blogs,
    Have a lovely evening xx Its a chilly one up here tonight.

    • sarah says:

      yes Fleur especially with FAcebook taking it over, there will be many changes in the pipeline I believe

      we can chat about it when we meet for a lovely coffee!

      it has been warm here today – full sun and no coat for me but layers and woolly tights….make sure you bring your Uggs for the evenings!

      well the Iphone4 changed mine lol xxx

  11. alison says:

    Thanks for getting me started on thinking about Instagram. Some days, like today, I see SO MANY little things when I’m out and about that I find interesting, yet I don’t have anyone with me to share them with. Sometimes I think there is a little too much rattling around in my head but I think Instagram will be a perfect vehicle.


  12. Beth says:

    Awesome Sarah! I am loving the new medium. I find at times it’s alot nicer place to hang out x

  13. Beth says:

    Hi Sarah, I also found out about photo a day from here and as I had just started up an instagram account I jumped straight on that bandwagon! It’s been a great way to connect and I’m loving it big time. Thanks for sharing your experiences with instagram.
    Beth (awelshgirl)

  14. Nadine says:

    Sarah, I was SO INSPIRED by this post! Thank you!! You really sold me on Instagram. :) I don’t have an iphone (I have a Nokia . . I know, right?!?), but I do have an ipad and have started instagramming away using rubbish ipad photos. I wanted to do something that was just for work only (dance teacher), and it’s the holidays at the moment so I have mainly behind-the scenes class-prep photos of paperwork, basically! But even so, through the joys of hashtags I actually now have some unknown international ballet students following me. :) Let me tell ya, come Monday and the start of term there are gonna be a LOT more cute-as ballerinas all up in my feed, yo! If you want to have a nosey around I’m @nadinearmiger.

  15. I began using Instagram as a daily challenge to photograph and share something interesting photographically/artistically, and it’s been so much fun! I appreciate your insight and tips into turning this daily posting into a blog that creates a following, as I am a small business owner navigating my way with SMM like so many others. Thank you!