If you had have mentioned the word ‘Blog’ ten years ago, people would have looked at you like you had ten heads. Today, there are thousands of bloggers around the world. As a blogger, I often get asked: “What is the secret to blogging?”. While everyone wants to know the golden rule, the truth is you need to have a genuine and passionate voice that readers can connect with.
With the explosion of blogging over the last number of years, it has become that bit more competitive to get yourself recognised. You have to create a brand around your blog that has a unique voice and niche. Saying that, you have a great community of bloggers to find inspiration from, network with and even work/collaborate with.
Does it all sound rosey? Well, I hate to burst your bubble but it’s bloody hard work. If you’re planning on starting up your own blog, then you need to be realistic about it. Today, I’m going to share some tips/advice with all of you. It’s not going to be sunshine and daisies, it requires A LOT of hard work, late nights, planning, researching, giving up any free time. Sound interesting? Then lets get started!
In 2011, I was working in a well known media corporation. Not feeling sure as to what path within the media I wanted to venture down, a friend suggested starting up my own blog. I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. A lot of questions over whelmed me. What is a blog? Where do I use it? What will I write about? What will I name it? What design will I create? How do I promote it? I was very naive when I first started out and quite rusty. First things first, why blog?
Passion: When I decided to start up mine, I knew that it was going to be based around fashion, beauty and some lifestyle. I live and breathe bold prints and a matte lip so it was only natural for me to find my niche. Find a topic that you are crazy about and will enjoy writing about.
Community: I have been lucky to be part of a great group of bloggers and I have made some lovely friendships throughout my time writing. Communicating and sharing your interests, can offer you feedback and encourage you push yourself. Readers may also find your blog inspirational as they share or go through the same joys and challenges in their own lives.
Career: If you want to blog full time, you need to understand that it will not happen over night. Hard work, a lot of patience, a unique point of view and a positive attitude are essential when building your blog. Making money should not be your main focus for starting, you need to have a genuine passion, then you can grow and perhaps move into making a profit.
Choosing your platform to blog from is massively important. There are two main types to use, Blogger and WordPress. I use WordPress as I find it easy to work with, I know other bloggers who would disagree so play around with both before setting up your blog. Of course, there are Pro’s and Con’s to working with WordPress and Blogger. Making sure you know how to navigate around them is essential.
Figuring out what I wanted to blog about came naturally to me. I knew what topics I wanted to talk about. Finding what area you want to put out into the blogosphere is important. There are a few main variations that you could establish. I feel like my blog works across all three, I share personal moments in my life, my topic is style, beauty, lifestyle and as talent is concerned, I enjoying styling and capturing beautiful photographs.
Personal: A personal blog can highlight an intimate part of your life that you wish to share with others. Whether you’re planning on travelling the world, just had a baby or you are planning your wedding, these are just a few areas you can document. A personal blog can be a great way to record your life’s journey.
Talent: Are you a budding photographer, artist, cook or stylist? By starting up a blog, it can be a great way to display your talents online. Look at it as a portfolio/virtual sketchbook for the world to see. You never know who might come across your blog and ask you to work/collaborate with them.
Topical: My blog is mainly topical based, I share my interests, passions and hobbies surrounding fashion and beauty. Your topic can be more than one, always think outside the box. You’re likely to attract readers who enjoy similar interests and hobbies, through this you can connect with them.
When it comes to naming your blog, it is very important to think long and hard about this as it will be the starting point into your blogging career. It sets the tone and should give your readers an idea of what they are about to see. When I started out, I went with my name as I wanted myself to be the brand. I found starting everything up overwhelming, so I found it best to use until I have set up a strong enough platform to rename at a later time.
Once you’ve come up with your name, blogging voice, niche, platform etc, it’s time to start the ball rolling. If you are going to take it serious, putting in the hours is important.
Creating a good work space for you to write is crutial. It was only until recently that I really set up a peaceful writing environment. Fresh flowers, inner peace, inspiration and my organisers are what make me tick when I’m in the zone. I love waking up and spending endless hours planning my posts, finding new bloggers and staying up to date with my social media accounts.
Networking: Social Media
Talking about social media, in today’s world it is what makes us tick. My various social media accounts: Instagram Facebook Twitter to name but a few are the core of the blogging community. You need to consistly blog and update your followers across the networking platform. Giving them a sneak peek into your life will bond your connection. I find most of my inspiration from Instagram, I’m obsessed with it.
If you want to take your blogging serious, then it is always useful to attend various events within the topic that you are talking about. Mingle with industry professionals and fellow bloggers to get your name out there. You could gain work by attending as many parties, coffee mornings and shows as possible. You build up your profile and offer your services where needed. If you are a fashion or beauty blogger, why not contact PR companies and pitch an idea for a collaboration? There are endless ways to get your blog noticed.
Have you found enough information to start blogging? I say go for it! Kick start 2015 by putting yourself out there and connect with fellow bloggers for some help and inspiration.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to ask any questions. I hope you found this helpful.