Blogging takes a little while to get used to, and when I look back at my old posts, I realised how absolutely clueless I was. I’m definitely no expert, and I’m still learning along with everyone else, but I thought it could be useful to share a few basics for new bloggers…
Good quality photos are key
I honestly believe that good quality photos are one of the most important aspects when it comes to a blog. The majority of blogs I’m drawn to, I’m typically drawn to them for the quality of their photos before I delve into the quality of their content. It took a while for me to see much growth with my blog and I do believe part of that was down to just poor quality photos, most of my poor quality older posts have been deleted, but just to paint a picture for you: I used to take photos on my webcam, before I stepped up to a BlackBerry, before I stepped up to a basic digital camera that was incredibly cheap. But, I have no regrets in that area, because that’s what I could afford at the time. Eventually I used my student loan to buy a Fujifilm bridge camera, which did the job for a little while, then for Christmas my parents got me what I use now – a Nikon D3100 with a 18-55mm lens, which is one of the best things I own, even for uses outside of blogging. However, you don’t have to invest all that dollar on a DSLR to have good quality photos, especially if you’re a student and don’t necessarily have the stable income to afford one (which I have experienced), you can actually take some amazing pictures by knowing how to work with an iPhone or Android, and Holly has a great tutorial for that here. With pictures – you want them to be big, bright and sharp. Not puny, grainy and dark, which was what I used to display on my blog.
Consistency is necessary
I try to post twice a week, and a lot of time I’m able to succeed with that. When I’ve had a lot of time to spare, I’ve been able to, in the past, post every other day. Being consistent isn’t easy – life gets in the way, and before you know it it’s been 10 days since your last post! But I’d say, just try and post as consistently as you can; even if that’s only once a week, at least your users know to expect you on that one day in the week. These days, I aim to post Mondays/Tuesdays and Thursdays/Fridays, I write up all my posts on the weekend (if I can) as I work so many hours during the week, all I have energy to do after work is edit some photos, proof read and edit my blog, then publish and promote it. But it’s also useful to remember that quality matter over quantity, as I’d rather read a blog that posts once a fortnight, with well written posts and beautiful quality photos, than a blog that posts every day with one line posts and grainy photos.
Make use of social media platforms
Social media is so key for any creator, business owner or promoter these days. My biggest social following is on Instagram, and actual a lot of my blog viewers are referred straight from there. Social media itself is a craft to master that I am still yet to crack, but with blog posts I typically promote it once on Instagram and a few times over the course of a few days on Twitter. Hashtags are important (I like to use your typical – #fbloggers, #bbloggers, #lbloggers), as they can lead to brand new people discovering your blog. You can also tweet certain platforms (such as @BBlogRT, #fblchat and @BB_Bloggers), who can retweet your posts and get them to reach a wider base of people. Definitely invest a lot of time into your social media – get your Instagram looking poppin’, try and be active on Twitter, interact and promote, promote, promote. It will, without a doubt, help to growth your blog.
Get involved in blogging groups
There are endless amounts of blogger networks out there that help you get a number of opportunities – be it working with your favourite brands, connecting you with people that want to pay to advertise on your blog or even just getting you down to some very interesting events where you can meet like-minded creators. Over time you’ll find that a lot of companies will contact you directly, but networks definitely give you a boost and a lot of amazing opportunities. Two of my favourite networks include Joe Blogs (they always have a lot of fun events to go to where you can meet brands and other bloggers), and Access All Asos (where ASOS runs a ‘university’ that gives you more tools to excel in this very diluted market of creators). Aside from groups, you get get involved with other blogger through Twitter chats, I’m not great at making these, especially now that I’m working, but I used to be active in a few a little bit earlier in my blog and I also once hosted an FBL chat. Some popular chat hashtags include – #fblchat, #bbloggers and #bloggersoc, so definitely check those out.
Draw inspiration from other bloggers
If you’re a bit lost about what to do with your blog and how to improve it, sometimes it helps just to see what other people are doing. It was from taking a look at some of my favourite bloggers that I realised the two things I love the most about blogs – good photos, and personal advice posts – so, I decided to incorporate that into Skylish. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking inspiration from others, blogging isn’t easy, especially now that everyone’s doing it and people are making a living out of it, so you always need to keep up with what people enjoy reading, seeing as the blogging world twists, turns and evolves over the years.
Patience, persistence and hard work…
If you read my recent blog a few home truths about being a blogger, you’ll remember that I said it sometimes all gets a little deflating, and sometimes you just look at other bloggers and wonder ‘how do they do it?!’. I’m seeing better growth in my blog as of recently, but there have been times in the past where I’ve seen little to no growth over months. So patience and perseverance is key for things to start to fall into place, it’s so important to enjoy what you’re doing and to remember why you’re doing it, and also to remember that as human beings we are never fully satisfied, so you will always be working harder, working smarter, and striving for more.
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