The blogging industry can be pretty brutal and cut throat, starting out can be daunting; Where do I start? What do I do? How often? Do I need a theme? How do I reach out to followers… There are so many questions and not many people willing to answer them.
I started off blogging a couple of years ago, I enjoyed putting my thoughts on paper and connecting with like-minded people, over time my following and community grew which has enabled me to work at it full time. Here are a few of my pointers, the pointers no other blogger wants you to know about.
You need to have a clear idea about what you’re going to write about, who you’re going to appeal to and how you’re going to get their attention, for example;
- My blog is about Fashion, Lifestyle and Parenting.
- I would think my content is most appealing to 20-40 year old women and parents.
- I promote my content across my social media channels and my personal Facebook page.
You need to have a recognisable look, decide whether you want something personal and chatty like a diary or log. Or do you want something that’s more styled like a magazine, so you could have a fashion look book, do you want your theme to be quirky and colourful to match your personality or are you more monochrome like me and like a more simplistic look?
Before you start promoting your blog I always think it’s a good idea to have a couple of blog posts written up, to give people and idea of how you mean to go about, the style in which you write and whether it’s going to appeal to them as a reader.
This is most definitely the thing I struggle with the most, especially now I have a 7 month old to entertain.
Consistency is key and people love knowing when they’re going to expect your next blog post, photo on Instagram or YouTube video.
Create a schedule for yourself… it could look a little bit like this…
The big question is how do I actually start a blog or build a website.
When I first started out I used Weebly as it was very straight forward and affordable and there was quite a broad spectrum of what I could customise. However now time has passed and I want bigger and better things from my Blog I have moved to WordPress.
Here’s how I made my blog:
- To begin with I opened an account with WordPress.
- I then purchased a WordPress hosting package from this page. The ‘StartUp’ plan will be adequate for now.
- Once you login to your Customer Area for the first time, you will be asked if you want to setup a new website (example below). Select WordPress and the page will expand asking you to fill in your information. Add your email, admin username and password and click on the green Confirm button.
- Your new site will now be online and you can log in to get started. You now have the option to purchase a WordPress theme.
- I bought the ‘Maryline’ theme from Pipdig, you can choose yours on this page.
- After purchasing your theme with Pipdig they will give you the option to install it by yourself or they offer the service to set everything up for you. I left it all up to them (it’s free) and my website was up and running with my own domain by the next day, I was kept in the loop the whole time and I was able to ask questions too. It was super duper easy and I think the whole thing; WordPress account, Domain name, Website hosting (which you will also have to set up but Pipdig helped me with this, its through a company called SiteGround) Pipdig theme and setup cost me £124.60.
Here’s the part every Blogger is reluctant to tell you, there has been numerous occasions where I have messaged a blogger asking for their advice or asking which photo editing apps and filters they use and not once in the whole time I have been blogging have I had a decent and genuine answer, so here’s a sneak peak into how I edit my photos. I don’t mind if you edit them the exact same way, its not a big secret and we should all empower each other and help one another out.
THE APPS I USE:
Everytime I edit a photo I use both of these apps;
FaceTune and VSCO.
The first app I use is called FaceTune, I use this to whiten my photo, smooth skin and add some definition.
I usually like to whiten the background and also whiten any bright colours so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb on my feed. Once i’ve done the whitening I smooth out any imperfections and add some definition…
I then go on to VSCO to change the filter and add a bit of grain…
Above is a photo of before and after I add my filter, I use A5 and below is after I’ve added some exposure and grain to the photo.
Once I’ve finished editing the photo on these apps, I will add it to Instagram, usually add a bit of shadow and brighten the photo, occasionally I will desaturate it too to get rid of any harsh colours.
I will do a separate blog post giving away some contact details of brands and PR companies I work with. Make sure you don’t miss it!