Blogging has become a pretty big business in the last few years. The number of bloggers out there just keep getting bigger and bigger by the day! I’ve only been around for about four months but I have learnt so much during that time, some of which I had learnt before I even started thinking about starting up my own blog. Some of these are a bit of a given but for me, they just didn’t register in my head until it was too late. Basically, I’m sharing with you these tips so you don’t make the same mistakes I made. And, if you have done a few of these things already, don’t worry! Most of us bloggers have, none of us are perfect or knows everything.
So, the first thing is probably the most important thing you can do before you even start a blog or even think about starting one, and that is research. Research is your best friend. I did do some research before I started my blog, but I only researched content ideas. I didn’t think about researching costs, platforms, hosting, plugins or anything else like that. I researched none of that. I had heard of WordPress.com and just went with it. I assumed that the $120 a year was a pretty regular expense to have. God, was I wrong. No hate to WordPress.com, it’s great for beginners, hobbyists or bloggers that aren’t interested in monetizing their blog but if you are like me and this is more than a hobby then definitely research!!! I can’t say it enough. Other things to think about are whether you need a hosting site like Siteground.com, how much money you are willing to spend (and don’t forget to compare prices too). Basically, before you do ANYTHING, research it. no matter how big or how small. If you can, talk to other bloggers and get advice from them. Ask them what worked and what didn’t, what they live by and what didn’t fit with what they were looking for. Again, RESEARCH!
If you are like and just starting out with photography then you have to really think about where your pictures come from. And, can you guess how to do that? That’s right, research. You can take your own photos on your phone and use different apps like Canva to make them the best picture ever or you can use stock photos. When using stock photos you need to remember to always reference them or at the very least link your picture back to the original. If you are on WordPress.com, it now offers free stock photos through Pexels – just make sure that your subscription supports it. If you are really stuck but have a little bit of money lying around, you could always hire a photographer, buy photos online or get your photo-savvy friend to do the photos for you.
One of the things I regret not doing is not having a launch date. A launch date is not a requirement but it definitely helps build your audience. If you start your blog now and set a date to launch said blog then use that time in between to promote your upcoming content and get everyone and yourself super hyped up. Showing how you are progressing in your set up and what tools, tips and tricks you are using will also give you that extra push. It may also help to set up social media accounts too so that you can document your new journey.
I mentioned above that social media can be a part of your blogging experience and I definitely recommend taking that up. I’m talking about a Facebook page, Instagram account and a Pinterest account. These three platforms will become your best friends. I waited for ages before I started using any of them. I originally just used my personal Facebook and Instagram and I wasn’t getting much traffic. Don’t forget to research all of this too. Look at what you can post on these platforms, what sort of content you want to be sharing on them. And, don’t forget that each of these platforms has a different image size requirement so research that and tailor your photos to fit each platform. It sounds like a lot of work and it will be at the start but after a few months or even a few weeks for some bloggers, you will so far on top of this that it will be like making a sandwich. Did that make sense? Another thing to note is that if you are using Instagram, a great idea is to take loads of pictures before you start your account so that you do have content to post regularly instead of doing a ‘meg’ as I now like to call it – I literally wait days or weeks on end before I wear something that I like and take a picture of it (if I remember), so at the moment my Instagram game is pretty poor. And, last little bit on this section, utilise your apps. There are a crap ton of apps out there to help you. I ‘use’ Tailwind to prepare and schedule any new posts for your Instagram and it is actually a really awesome app but I keep forgetting I have it so I forget to use it (ooopps!)
I probably should have started with this but at least we are here now! Finding and knowing your niche is super important. My ‘niche’ was/is lifestyle. Even though that is a niche that you can do, it is better to break it down into smaller or less broad niches. It took me a while but I now blog primarily about health, animals, and style. I use my lifestyle section for posts like this one. I try to stick to things like tips or advice for different things that are pretty common like this again. I won’t go writing reviews on books or posting about food unless its super, super, super important and pertinent to me and my audience but hey if enough people request it, I will deliver! When choosing your niche, pick something that is important to you and that you will enjoy writing about. You don’t need to have loads of experience but an interest is a definite requirement. If you have multiple interests try to stick to 4 or 5 at most. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience or be too broad either. Plus, you want to give each niche the same amount of attention. And, what I mean by that is don’t post five blog posts about clothes in a row and then one about travelling and then go back to another five about clothes. Spread it out, maybe try one clothes then one travel or two and then another clothes. It also means that if you have followers that are only interested in one of your niches then they aren’t waiting a month for the next piece of content about it.
And last, but definitely not least, your target audience. Who is your content targeted at? You want to have an idea of who you want to read to your blog, what you want them to get out of your blog and why your content is suited for them. You don’t want to end up promoting your blog to 50-year-old businessmen when your blog is about how to wear a silk trench coat without overdoing it. Really think about who you want as your reader and promote your content towards them.
Okay I lied, I have one more tip for you. This is probably the only thing I did write when I started out even if it did take me like 3 months to even think of it. Connections are your other best friend after your social media platforms, except this new best friend is actually real people. Join groups on Facebook for bloggers, go through Pinterest and find groups that focus on your niche and post similar content, use Instagram hashtags to find other bloggers. We are a community and we are always here to help those who need it, or as Dumbledore puts it “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”. He also said “Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it” which is also what I was going for but there you go! So check out facebook, find some groups, make connections and use the rest of us to learn more and better yourself and your blog every day, that’s what we do best.
Any tips that I haven’t added? Or have you made the same little tiffs as me? Tell me about it in the comments below!