“What advice do you have for someone starting a blog?”
This is the #1 question I am asked on a daily basis! It’s hard to answer thoroughly on Instagram though, so I thought the question deserved a dedicated post. Truthfully, a lot goes into launching a blog- choosing a name, deciding a niche, finding your voice in it all, etc- and the entire process is overwhelming. I won’t sugar coat it, but I don’t want to intimidate you either! I know firsthand that it hurts when no one believes in you and thinks your blog is just a “little hobby”.
–First and foremost, start a blog because you’re passionate about it, NOT because you want to make money! You will be disappointed very quickly going into this for the wrong reasons.
–Content is KING. Content controls everything! From blog posts to Instagram photos, the content you create is what attracts readers to your platform. You MUST have attention-grabbing photos! The goal is to draw people in and keep them coming back for more. Don’t slap a preset on your feed and expect thousands of followers overnight! It doesn’t work like that. Figure out the filters/presets/edits that fit your style BEST! Ex: My feed is super bright and colorful, so I edit my photos with lots of exposure and contrast! I don’t want to hop on the preset bandwagon IF it doesn’t fit my brand.
–Stay true to yourself. Build your brand on your actual style! I hate when I see influencers conform to the same thing as everyone else. Outfits that are a hit for Blogger A, might totally tank with Blogger B! Sure, the market is oversaturated, but you are capable of bringing something unique to the table!
–Don’t let comparison steal your joy. There are girls who have been doing this for years with 5k followers and girls who started 6 months ago with 50k! If you ever feel discouraged, remember WHY you started in the first place! I promise that the perfectly curated Instagram feeds of your favorite influencers are not as picturesque as they seem. You never EVER know what someone is going through, so don’t judge a book by its cover!
–Before you even launch your blog, you have to choose a name that fits your brand and decide how to build your website. I recommend a self-hosted WordPress site through Bluehost or Siteground. I have used Siteground since July 2016 and highly recommend. They have quick customer service always willing to help!
–Know your worth! In the beginning, you might have to do product exchange only collaborations. But the more you build your brand and following, the more companies will reach out! Ask for payment based on your following/audience when you are confident enough in your work and have established your voice!
–You have to HUSTLE 24/7. Creating and maintaining my blog has been the hardest, yet most rewarding thing I have ever done. Most people have no clue the work that goes on behind the scenes! And they won’t understand, especially in the beginning. I always say I have the utmost respect for wives and mamas who do this because I have no balance in my life when it comes to blogging! Definitely something I plan on changing in the future, but until then, I’m going to enjoy this season of my life where I am able to give it 110%!
–Make sure your blog is better than your social media accounts. Too many bloggers have A+ Instagrams but C- blogs. ALWAYS remember at the end of the day, the ONLY platform you own is your blog! Pour double the amount of time into it as you do other outlets!
–RESEARCH. I absolutely love answering DMs from you guys, but a lot of times the answers are a simple Google search away. (Basically, Google probably helps you quicker than I do! LOL) The internet is FULL of amazing information, though! Learn about SEO optimization, how to set realistic goals, correct email formatting, best PHOTO EDITING techniques, etc!
–Speaking of photo editing, SO important!!! I mentioned this above, but it deserves to be reiterated. To me, your photos are what establish you as a brand because they are what makes a person decide to follow you, read your captions, or even put the effort in to go to your blog! Take the time to learn how to edit your photos! (I recommend Lightroom and PicMonkey!)
–Be consistent! I recommend posting to social media (Instagram) at least ONCE a day and a blog post TWICE a week! If you’re just starting out, posting one blog a week is fine, but eventually, do more because it’s all about connecting with your readers and showing up for them!
–#CommunityOVERCompetition!! Connect with other bloggers in your area, plan meetups in real life, and brainstorm ideas to team up! This is one thing I regret not doing sooner. Sure, there are some snakes in the grass, but everyone deserves a fair shot to prove their reputation wrong!
*LASTLY* It doesn’t matter if you have all the information in the world to create a successful blog, you will STILL be overwhelmed, and that’s perfectly okay! You don’t have to accomplish everything in one day. I recommend getting some of your ducks in a row BEFORE you launch, though! ( Like, have a few blog posts up and ready to go) Ultimately, don’t get frustrated when you can’t find the answer or something goes wrong because it will! You just have to figure out the solution and KEEP GOING!