Hi guys, I hope you’re all doing well. Today I wanted to share some of my top tips for any new bloggers out there. I’ve gotten a number of emails asking for this type of thing and although I’ve added bits and pieces here and there I’ve never dedicated a whole one just for this.
So I’ve been blogging for 15 months now and it has honestly been one of the best decisions I made ^_^ I love being able to share my views, my favourites and not so favourites and to get to know other’s who have a similar interest to me.
More recently becoming an ethical blogger and putting the lives of innocent Palestinians before buying a MAC blush, Estee Lauder foundation or L’Oreal mascara has given me an even greater reason to blog! So whatever your reason for starting your own, here are a few pointers to help you on your way.
1. Join bloglovin and Twitter
There are SO many social media sites out there, but the first two to join are the above. Bloglovin is probably the most popular blog directory, a place where once you sign up your posts are instantly added for all followers to easily read. You can access all sorts of blogs, build lists, like/save posts and usually find a lot of amazing blogs through other people’s blogs! Here is my profile if you’d like to see what it’s like.
Twitter is invaluable for the blogging community. Not only can you hashtag and share your posts to thousands of people, you can also meet lots of other wonderful bloggers on there and get involved in blogger chats (the #bbloggers one is every Wednesday 8pm GMT and the #beautychat is on every Friday 7pm GMT). The blogger chats are wonderful for sharing tips, recommendations, posts and ‘meeting’ new bloggers! Sometimes they have a specific topic and at other’s its totally random.
2. Spend time and effort on the appearance of your blog
Not all of us have hundreds of pounds to spend on professional blog design, and nor do you need to with the wealth of google at your finger tips! It is well worth spending a couple of hours adjusting your blog layout and design because first impressions really do make a difference. Personally I love visual blogs with large colourful photos, a clear ‘about me’ summary and a blog design that has a bit of character and makes me want to visit the page again.
I ALWAYS recommend people to visit the fabulous Elaine’s blog, because she works SO hard to provide people like you and me the need-to-know when it comes to tweaking the blog. She is a professional in terms of website design. Her tutorials are simple and easy to follow and if you want more help you can hire her! 90% of the changes I made on my blog, were through her tutorials so do spend some time behind the technical and create yourself a blog you are proud of!
3. Buy a blogging book and note down milestones
When I say a blogging book, I don’t mean anything fancy. Just a notebook (a patterned/pretty one if you’re a stationary obsessive like me) which you can use for ALL things blogging. Brainstorm, write down products you’re currently testing out, and most importantly write down those milestones! There is nothing more encouraging than seeing how far you’ve come, and it’s probably the best thing about having a productive/useful hobby! Last year at the start of November I had 100 bloglovin followers which is pretty fantastic in itself. In almost a year I am now at 670 followers, and whilst numbers the most important thing, they are a great encouragement!
4. Plan your posts a month in advance
I know this sounds pretty over the top and I would have thought so too when I first started blogging, but it’s the only way I’ve been able to post over 10 posts in one month! I like to think about what the month ahead might bring, think about the products I’m currently using in my rota and then use my imagination to come up with some possible posts. I will generally slot in 3/4 posts on my calendar and this way I am never stuck for what to blog about when I make the time to blog. I can’t tell you how much of a help this has been for me, and it is also really great to get into the habit of bulk photograph taking for the week ahead. If you take all your shots in one go, you won’t be faffing about with products and your camera, lighting, angles etc; throughout the week. I’m not very good at bulk photo taking but when I do, it makes life a lot easier.
5. Leave your bloglink after a thoughtful comment!
Blogging is as much about interacting with others, as it is about sharing your views and opinions. I love the comment feature, and although I haven’t had a single moment to sit down and reply to comments recently, I appreciate each one that is left! It’s nice to appreciate someone’s effort if you particularly enjoyed a post, and also if you have anything to add about the topic. Whatever you write, please make sure it’s thoughtful and not copied and pasted. This is careless and you’ll quickly become known for trying to gain followers in a not so organic way! Personally I am not a fan of ‘follow for follow’. Work hard on your content and try to be consistent, and you’ll see your following grow naturally, trust me it’ll feel brilliant!
Also just thought I would share how to leave your name and a hyperlink to your blog:
Iqra | <a href="http://www.theblushinggiraffe.com/">The Blushing Giraffe </a> x
The bits in red are the html, so copy and paste this into a sticky note, add your blog URL in-between the speech marks, and add your name at the front before the ‘<a' href’ as this will be like your signature. It’s a much more convenient way of sharing a clickable link to your blog, and you’re more likely to get more visitors using this method rather than copying and pasting the whole URL (plus that would look super messy). Plus sticky notes load whenever I turn my laptop on, so its easy as pie to leave your signature and link!
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t give up!
A 2-for-1 there, but both equally important! Don’t worry if you don’t end up sticking to your posting schedule because life is getting in the way, it happens! In the past few weeks I would have liked to have posted 3X the amount I was able to, but due to juggling university and work it has just not been possible. Take your time because blogging is a hobby and an enjoyable thing, don’t allow it to become another worry in your life! Also when you first start and you literally have like 3 followers for 5 weeks, don’t let it get to you! Blog for YOU, and keep at it because with time you’ll develop bonds, find awesome people from across the world who are so similar to you and just get really stuck in! Numbers are not and should not be the most important aspect of blogging, the enjoyment and experience should be.
Blogging is my escape for a few hours a week and although I wish I had more time to blog and read blogs more often, I am grateful to be able to enjoy it in the time I get.
I really hope a few of those were helpful to you! Please let me know if you have any questions down below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you have any to add, fellow blogger please do share!!Good luck with upcoming assignments and deadlines, I’d better get cracking with mine!
Thanks for reading!