Saturday, December 28, 2013

20 Blogging Resource Links for Goths

Really, it's no surprise that many Goths are also bloggers. If you don't live near other Goths, it can be difficult to try and connect with the community. More and more the idea of a net.Goth (or a Goth whose primary outlet for their spookiness is web-based) is shedding it's bad reputation. So, to celebrate that, here is a post of 20 Blogging Resource Links that I think Goth bloggers could use.

Web Design:

1. Goth blogs are usually a bit differently designed than other blogs, but if you want some pointers on how to pick fonts, designs, layouts, etc. then this post and this post by Aimee (a professional blog designer) on Fancy Little Things is right up your alley.
2. When building a blog design it can be pretty difficult to determine what you really need (and super easy to forget the important stuff when you're distracted by all the cool widgets out there.) So, to keep things simple here are 9 Things your Blog Site Should Contain. Then you can build from there.
3. Looking for fonts for your blog's design? 1001 Fonts has 142 Free Horror Fonts that you can download and use as you wish.
4. Do you know how to make custom clickable social media buttons that look professionally made? Something Swanky taught me how with great, easy-to-follow instructions here. Bonus!: she has many of the vector images you need in this post.
5. When I bought my domain name I felt like I'd reached Blog Adulthood. It might seem unnecessary (and you certainly don't have to, not everyone has $15 to spare every year) but if you need just the littlest bit of convincing, here's a great article on Why You Should Purchase Your Own Domain Name.

Post Ideas and Topics:

6. First and foremost, a bit of self promotion: My post of 50 Goth Blog Post Prompts from last autumn has a bunch of topics specifically targeted for Goth blogs.
7. Need to write a post quickly (or do you just work better under pressure)? No Passive Income wrote a post on How to Write a (Great) Blog Post In Under An Hour that is just perfect for you.
8. Having trouble beating "blogger's block"? Last time I had truly bad bloggers block I was able to use this article by Blogging With Amy which has 50 Ways to keep you interested in blogging and writing great posts every time.
9. I can't tell you the number of times I finished writing a post and hit the pretty, shiny orange "Publish" button right away. Bad blogger! To keep me (and you) in check, here are 8 Things to Do Before Hitting Publish On Your Next Blog Post
10. Find relevant post inspiration on the Goth and Horror history at Goth Almanac, which includes release dates, birthdays, and other events related to Goth.

Blog Photographs and Visuals:

11. Looking for a good online image editing software if you can't afford Photoshop? Pixlr and PicMonkey are excellent alternatives for basic or advanced image editing--for free!
12. Okay so Goth isn't all about fashion, but most of the Goth blogs I tend to read are fashion-focused to some degree. This Chick's Got Style has a post which lists 9 Fashion Blog Photography Tricks to get good photos every time.
13. Do you take a lot of pictures of small objects like jewelry or makeup? Then here are some instructions for DIY Photo Backdrops.
14. If you don't have a point and shoot or a big fancy camera, you can still get a lot of mileage out of your smartphone camera. If you're stuck, here are some great tips for iPhone photography which should also work for other smartphones.
15. Want to protect your post visuals and make sure that people know where they came from? Make a quick, free watermark for your photographs using Picmonkey by following this tutorial by A Typical English Home.
16. It's not paranoid or narcissistic to check if your photos are being used elsewhere on the web (with or without your permission.) Follow this tutorial which explains how to check who is using your images and where.

Upkeep and Growth:

17. Want to keep and engage your readers? Independent Fashion Bloggers has a fantastic post of 10 Ways to Build an Insanely Loyal Blog Following which has some pretty easy ways to get your readers to stick around.
18. Blogging is all about making connections, right? Well, supposedly, but it can be disheartening when you're not getting comments and you feel like you're just blathering into the ether. So, here are 5 Reasons You're Not Getting Comments, and what to do about it.
19. Can you tell I love Independent Fashion Bloggers? Because I do! Here's another one of their posts, 23 Ways to Promote Your Blog post once you've written it.
20. Now that you're all on top of your own blog, what about spreading the love to others? Homeschool Blogging wrote a quick 5 Reasons You Should Be Guest Posting, which I love (and really should get my butt in gear about. Anyone need a guest post? :P )

Do you have any helpful posts or links that discuss blogging, especially Goth related? Or do you try to stay away from running your own Goth blog?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I know not all Goths celebrate Christmas, but I still want to wish you guys happy holidays from me to you. Here's my favorite (campy, slightly silly) song to celebrate with.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Making Goth Christmas Ornaments

Today's post is brought to you by whichever mischievous sky gods have decided that Massachusetts should be covered under a nice dusting of snow. It's absolutely beautiful here, if absolutely freezing, and it's gotten me really in the mood to decorate for Christmas. I have a tiny black Christmas tree decorated in my dorm room, but I'm in the mood to decorate a bigger Christmas tree back home. So, without further ado, here are a few ideas for making Goth Christmas ornaments by yourself.

Polymer clay would be a good place to start. You can mold whatever you like (that is within the realm of your ability), stick an eye-pin in it, and then hang it by a ribbon. Personally, even with my limited artistic ability, I think I could make (very round) bats, spiders, bones, coffins, fleur dis lis, headstones, keys, icicles, and more.

If you're the type of person that has CDs of your favorite music hanging around, string those up on the tree with ribbon. Best of all, they reflect light from string lights so your tree will look twice as sparkly. Besides, since you don't have to punch a hole in the CD to hang it, you can take the CD down after you're done with the Christmas season and keep it year round.

To use up some of your ribbon/lace collection, start tying them in bows around the tree branches or onto smaller ribbons for hanging. Or, you can them around the tree as a garland if you have that much ribbon.

If you saved any small wooden shapes from craft stores around Halloween time, now would be the time to slap some paint (or marker or glitter or Mod Podged scrapbook paper) on them, punch a hole through them, and hang with a ribbon. If you want to you can give them some Christmas style or just stick to plain Gothic (although I think one of those bats painted with red and white stripes would look just darling.)

If you prefer the traditional round Christmas ornaments but hate the usual color schemes (and the exuberant prices of non-traditional color schemes) you can pick up some plain ornaments and have at them with paint. There are lots of ways you can do this, from spray-painting the interior of clear balls to swirling paint in circles and even to painting patterns on the outside. Once the paint is dry, feel free to decorate the exterior with sequins, beads, or glitter.

Lastly, if you're interested you could take clear Christmas ornaments and fill them with goth-y things. Stuck for ideas? Here are some of mine:
  • Black feathers
  • Glitter
  • Ribbon
  • Beads
  • Miniatures
  • Fake Pearls
  • Dried/fake flower petals
  • Small animal bones
  • Fake spider webs from Halloween
  • Shredded pages of Goth novels
  • Rolled paper
  • Pieces of fishnet
  • Rocks (insert GENTLY)
  • Halloween confetti
If you all are celebrating Christmas this year, how do you plan on decorating your trees?