When I started out blogging 2 years ago, I generally had no idea what I was doing. I’m sure everyone starts out thinking they know what they need or think they need, it takes time to learn what your real essentials are. I’ve found reading these posts helpful as a newbie blogger and trying to find your way in the blogging world but also as someone with experience, you’re always on the look out for something to up your game. I wanted to put together my own little essential blogging tips for beginners in hope of helping some of you.
01. Your blog branding.
This can be quite a hard thing to decide on, but I honestly think it’s worth investing time in before you even start your blog. Deciding on a name and some kind of direction you want from your content, it all helps set you up right from the start. I bought my domain name about 2 months after starting this journey and had already got an email set up and all of my social media accounts with the same name claimed. Just take some time to experiment with some names, I did want to use my real name, but knowing that I was getting married it seemed like a silly decision to pick my maiden name, so I went with something that I thought would sound good and be ‘timeless’. I’ve seen plenty of people in blogging world and on YouTube who regret picking their brand name and want to change it but worry because they’ve spent so long building it, so make sure you really just take some time to settle on something.
02. Picking the right platforms.
This could mean the website you want to host your blog on, or even the social media channels you want to focus on, these are things you should put some time to thinking about at the start of your journey. I started out my blog on Blogger, which I picked because it was easy to use, it was perfect for starting out, but I soon learnt I wanted more control over my blog, so I moved to WordPress. Unfortunately, moving from Blogger to WordPress is pretty complicated and it’s common for bloggers to pay for someone to do this process for them, costing anything from £30-60+. If you think this is something you might want to consider in the long run, starting out on WordPress from the start might be a better option for you.
When I first started using social media for my blog, I decided to focus on two platforms, Twitter and Instagram, it can be quite overwhelming trying to be present on every platform going, so I found it easier to focus on the ones I enjoyed the most. Twitter, to communicate with everyone, make friends, join communities and Instagram to have a visual representation. These are still my two favourite platforms!
03. Picking a template.
Picking a theme for the look of your blog is a pretty hard decision, you’ll pick one and change your mind about a million times, do you go with the clean white aesthetic like everyone else? or picking something that suits your personality? The one advice I have about picking your theme, is just make it easy to navigate and that all the things you deem important are at the forefront. The amount of times I’ve been on a blog and I can’t find an email address anywhere to save my life, or just want to follow them on twitter but their handle is no-where to be found. Make it easy for people to see more of you and follow your journey.
04. Photography and Blog Imagery.
Now, a lot of people will talk about how blog photography is everything and to some extent, it is, but you honestly don’t need much to make great blog imagery. Yes having an awesome camera, lots of blog props and a blurry background looks amazing, but you don’t need all of the fancy stuff. Phone camera’s are great, there are plenty of editing apps around, experiment and learn what works for you. However, if photography isn’t your thing, then making great blog images on sites like Canva can really help give your blog the professional and consistent look without needing any fancy equipment. They’re also great for pinning on Pinterest, killing two birds with one stone, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
Honestly, you’ll never know when inspiration strikes and there is nothing worse than trying to remember those amazing blog post titles you had in the shower but forgot to write down, so I always keep a notepad with me. Organisation will be your best friend when blogging. Just being on top of your thoughts and ideas and planning your content is the key to success. When you’ve got your blog schedule down, this can extend to social media scheduling, planning your days to photograph and everything in-between.
The one thing I’ve learnt the most from starting a blog, is that interaction is super important. These will be the people who read your blog posts, talk to you about what you’re watching on Netflix right now, will sing your praises when they love something you’ve written and help push you get to that 1k Instagram goal. Remember to be humble and kind and give back to the people who supported you through it all. The community is a wonderful and supportive place, so be part of it and enjoy it! I wrote a blog post, 5 Awesome Reasons To Join The Girl Gang which you should all go read if you want to be part of a lovely community! The one thing I did that helped me get to know people was joining in Twitter Chats, chatting with like minded people and finding some awesome new blogs to follow is always a great start!
Blogging has been one of the hardest and time consuming thing I’ve ever done, it’s so much more time consuming than anyone lets on, but it’s also been one of the most rewarding things also. I think it’s totally worth every second I’ve spent, but people often think it’s easy going and pretty marble images and rose gold. It’s hard work but if you’re down for the ride, you’ll find it really rewarding and worth it.