You know how I always say “How do you edit your pictures?” is my number one asked question? Yeah, well, it’s a photo finish between that and my second most asked question- “How did you start your blog?”.
I get this question all the time, along with inquiries for general tips and advice for those of you who are wanting to start one of your own. I figured, what would be easier than individually answering all of those DM’s and emails with a blanket response than to direct you all to one blog post? So, put your big girl panties on– we’re diving straight in.
1. STOP THINKING ABOUT IT AND DO IT
Whatever it is that is holding you back from starting a blog, whether it’s fashion, travel, lifestyle, food- hell, I don’t know, puppets?- let it go. Worried about what other people are going to think about it? Ditch that. If they’re worried about yours, they need better dreams of their own. If I had given up every time someone told me this wasn’t a good idea, every time a close friend put me down over it, or every time some hateful comment was posted about me online, I would’ve been out of the game years ago. Not sure you have the resources/knowledge to make it what you want? Don’t panic. Everyone has to start somewhere and you can totally learn and grow as you go. Need I remind you that I started out taking pictures with my camera on a tripod with the self timer and no one there to help me (*cue hateful tweet #45373476*)? Or are you just generally not sure really how to get started? Well then, take my hand dear friend, you are in the right place.
2. PICK YOUR PLATFORM
Whether you are thinking of pursuing blogging strictly through the great world of social media or planning to start a website as well, choosing the correct platform is essential. As far as social media goes, we all know and love the wonderful world of Instagram and I think it is a great place to share content. I love that little app and all of the opportunities it has lead me to. However, I think that if you are looking to put out lengthier, less disposable content, having a website to send your readers to is a HUGE bonus. No, starting a website is not easy. BUT- there are plenty of resources to help you and if you choose the write host, it can actually go quite swimmingly. I personally use a WordPress website hosted with Bluehost. I have used two other platforms before and I’m telling you there is truly no better combination. Bluehost and WordPress both have so many helpful forums and chat lines they can help you with literally anything you need. I have spent many a romantic 2 AM conversation with the Bluehost help line and never once has my issue not been resolved. You can get started by getting yourself a Bluehost account here.
3. BRAND YOURSELF
Whether it’s a color scheme, an editing technique, your writing style, what have you, find what makes you unique and own the living sh*t out of it. With so many people playing this game you absolutely have to have something that readers are going to remember about you and want to keep coming back to. Branding is so incredibly important and I could talk for days about this but it’s really up to each individual person to find their style and what works for them. This could take some time and a few changes along the way but once you find it you will know. Word of advice: be inspired, but do not copy. Especially when you are just starting out, it’s easy to spot what the copy cats dragged in. Make it your own.
4. GET TO WORK
I never use the term “work” lightly. So often nowadays I see young women wanting to start blogs because they want to take pretty photos of themselves or whatever it is they create. Y’all. It. Is. SO. Much. More. Than. That. If you are serious about pursuing this, be ready to put in time and effort. It’s going to take work to make this thing grow and once it does, it’s work to keep up. Don’t put up content just to put something up. Start putting out content, and take some time and make it good. If you have to get up at 6 AM every day to answer emails and edit photos before you go to your other full time job for 8 hours a day, do it. If you have to give up those Netflix hours at night to brainstorm new content, do it. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, this probably isn’t your dream.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to scare you. Blogging is so insanely fun and more often than not spending all of those extra hours working doesn’t seem so bad when you really enjoy doing it. I just feel like the idea of what bloggers do on a day to day basis is so skewed from what really goes on. I have a new respect for the big dogs in the industry. They do what they do and they do it well. And they sure don’t do it without a little ass busting every day.
5. PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER
I couldn’t leave this post without warning you to never, EVER compare your growth to someone else’s. Everyone grows at a different pace and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out as quickly as you want it to. Grow organically (no, those follow for follow apps do not get you anywhere engagement wise- don’t even go there) and your time will come soon enough.
I hope this helps a little and if you are in fact thinking of starting a blog, best of luck to you. I hope it brings you as much happiness as it has for me. Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions!