If you set yourself New Year’s resolutions they are probably in full swing by now with gym visits under your belt and a well stock fridge full of healthy food. But what if one of your aims for the year is to start your own blog? Now I am no expert but I have been blogging for nearly four years now (that’s a scary thought) so I thought that I would put this post together to hopefully give you a bit of guidance and some points to consider before you get going.
I started blogging because I wanted a creative outlet and somewhere that I could order my thoughts on various things. I always knew that I wanted to blog about fashion, it’s what I love and by having the blog it means that I can jabber away to my hearts content without boring/ irritating my friends. A great place to start is to think about what you want the focus of your blog to be, don’t feel like you have to rigidly stick to any decisions you do make though. I originally wanted my blog to be purely fashion and while that is my main focus I have given myself the freedom to branch out into other areas like beauty, if the fancy takes me.
Next up is deciding which platform you want your blog to be on. I went for wordpress because I was thinking long term. I had a photography blog as a requirement for a course and used Blogger. I found Blogger ok, it is nice and simple to use but I wanted a bit more freedom with what I could do with it. I also knew that I would be buying my domain straight away as Life’s a Catwalk was always the name I was going to have and I knew that I wouldn’t want to change it. The advantage of buying your domain when you start is that you run the risk of someone else having already bought it when you come to buy further down the line. I used a free WordPress template when I first set up and changed this every few months as my blog evolved. You also don’t want to be forking out a lot of money particularly if you then decide that blogging isn’t for you.
It was about 3 1/2 years before I went completely self hosted with WordPress and I bought a template through Pipdig. It was pretty reasonably priced but something that I had put off purely because it is an added expense and I wasn’t really making enough money from blogging to justify it. I also didn’t want to buy a template and then hate it after a couple of months. You also have the option of a bespoke design which I would maybe consider further down the line.
I think most people have heard ‘Content is King’ and to a certain extent that is true. If you create good content then people will keep coming back. One thing I have learnt is to blog about what I would want to read rather than what I think will be popular. If you are writing purely to get hits it will show in your post and your readers will realise that your enthusiasm isn’t genuine. Photography is also a huge deal now. Everyone has a DSLR or smartphone and many people visit blogs for the imagery as much as the written content.
You have written your first blog post, what now? Social media is amazing at getting the word out there. There are also a variety of bloggers groups on Facebook and Twitter where you can share your content. I find that this really helps up the amount of hits each post gets.
Some bloggers make money from their blogs via sponsored posts and affiliate links. Sponsored content does occasionally appear on my blog and this is something I would be happy to do more of in the future. I think that it is important that any sponsored content fits well with what you blog about otherwise it stands out like a sore thumb. It is also important to declare to your readers if you have received items or payment to feature a brand as being completely transparent will help build an honest relationship with followers.
If you want to start a blog my main advice would be just to crack on and do it. I love blogging and having my own little corner of the internet. You honestly won’t regret it!