February marks one year since I decided to start blogging, with the intention of sticking to it – and I have (although the last couple of months have been challenging!). I feel so lucky to have found something that I enjoy investing my time and energy into. Plus, I’ve got to enjoy those feelings of excitement when the hard work pays off!
The past year of blogging has involved 88 posts, growth on all my social media channels and collaborations with brands that I have long admired. However, I can’t sugarcoat it, it’s been no where near as easy as I initially thought it was going to be.
I quickly learnt that blogging is not just taking some casual outfit photos alongside a post. Although, the main aim is to make those photos look as natural and carefree as possible! Alongside blogging comes a whole host of extra ‘job responsibilities’ including being technologically savvy and multi-tasking to fit in blogging and a full time job.
The technological part of starting a blog was so stressful for me, particularly when upgrading to the sleek, professional website I was envisioning. My first mistake was paying for an upgraded plan through WordPress. Although the Personal Plan gives you a domain (your website address without the .wordpress part included), it doesn’t come with the option to customise your blog and make it your own. If this is what your truly want to do, you should self-host through a hosting provider (more detail below).
Invest early on
If you start blogging and find you absolutely want to continue and give it 100%, firstly invest in getting a domain (a web address you own). This will make your site look professional and give you control over the customisation and design of your blog. I chose Siteground as my web host and would highly recommend them! Their plans are affordable and their customer services team are always a live chat away with a 24/7 service. They helped me fix a number of technical issues I had at the start!
I then bought my theme from Pipdig. Their designs are minimal but sleek and look so professional. I loved the design stage of launching my blog, although it’s stressful, it’s so rewarding to see your site really coming together!
Your interests and content may change
Initially when I started blogging, I planned to focus on interior design as I was starting to get really into it. The plans also included ‘lifestyle’ such as baking and travelling. I even thought about fitness as I was obsessed with going to the gym – yet I haven’t written one post about this!
Quite soon after, my posts naturally gravitated towards being fashion and beauty based. I think I was just trying to avoid these topics at the beginning to do something a bit different. It’s surprised me just how much I love writing the beauty posts since fashion has always been more of a natural topic to me. I also find travel posts super fun to write, although I don’t travel anywhere near as much as I like to, which is the difficult part. Whichever niche you choose, you need to make sure you have plenty of content to post regularly. This can be why having less niches, the better.
Join Facebook groups
I learnt so much from just reading conversations between other bloggers. I joined a lot of groups to get this visibility although I didn’t engage massively because I don’t always feel bloggers are my target audience – depending on the content! The groups answered a lot of questions I had in the beginning before I found my feet. You can never have too much information to hand at the start!
Do your own thing
Ensure your content is authentic and YOU! You will gain zero satisfaction from replicating what’s already been done. Readers want to engage with the person behind the blog and feel like they connect with you, almost as if they know you in real life. Doing your own thing will also keep your posts looking consistent, fluid and unique to your handwriting!
Don’t say yes to everything
You’ll receive a lot of spam emails as a blogger. Most of it from brands you’ve never heard of asking you to write a post with absolutely no benefit to you. Whilst I have accepted a number of sponsored posts on a gifting basis only, I have done so because I like the brand to begin with and they fit my style. At the same time, know your worth. Considering how much time and effort goes into your posts, eventually you may want this to become viable. I have read one too many debates about this from other social media influencers but I think everyone should do what works best for them. I also think at the beginning, gifting basis posts are a fab way to create content and give you the experience to improve your writing and photography skills.
Join influencer programmes
But don’t spread yourself too thinly. If you join too many programmes and schemes you will have to wait longer for payouts. As an example, I joined Shopstyle Collective at the beginning because their criteria was not as strict as RewardStyle. However, RewardStyle have since accepted me! Use this to your advantage by utilising both platforms with your outfits and product recommendations. Another programme that I love is called Influenster. The app is so easy to use and all you have to do is leave product reviews and the higher your score, the more chance you have of being sent products.
I hope this post helps you whether you have started blogging or are thinking of starting!