I started blogging a long time ago when I was just about clambering into my teenage years. It wasn’t cool at the time and in fact, I hid my blog from anyone other than my handful of chosen ones for many, many years. I genuinely felt like Hannah Montana – working on my websites took up every spare moment I had, I even managed to get a name for myself in my own little “tween blogger” community pulling in many thousands of views on my blog each year – but in my “offline” world, the idea of the masses finding out that I wrote my opinions and feelings on the internet did nothing but make my stomach turn.
Despite the constant fear of being found – I loved doing it. I loved it back then and I still love it now. Call it therapeutic – I’ve always enjoyed writing and so blogging has always been something that has come so naturally to me.
My blog has grown with me as I have grown up over time. Writing about school in the earlier days eventually grew into me writing about my university experience and my foray into the world of full-time work. I’ve spoken about relationships, friendships… even investing. I’ve delved into many genres too – from beauty blogging, to fashion blogging, to travel blogging, fitness blogging, and a mix of it all. I went from designing and coding my own website to paying for a professional design. I only stopped using a regular photographer as a result of COVID. Things tend to change here every few years.
It’s been a journey to say the least, but it’s so nice to have all of these entries on here to refer back to when the nostalgia hits.
I am often the first to tell my friends/family who have tons of opinions to share to consider scribbling them down into a blog. I’ll be the first to put my hands up to help them to get set up too.
Having done this for so long now – I do get a lot of people asking me for advice on how they can get into the world of blogging. So here are my tips…
⌛️ Just start
We hear this one a lot, but everything doesn’t always have to be perfect before you launch a new venture. No matter how perfect you try to make that oh-so special “debut”, it is very likely that you will look back one day and have so many holes to poke in it. At the end of the day – you learn more as you go along, which means that the best course of action always just to get started. Of course, before you hit publish on your first blog, you need to…
🔎 Pick your platform
There are multiple platforms you can use to write a blog. I have always used WordPress – with WordPress you can have a name.wordpress.org blog, or you can install WordPress onto your very own website. The latter is “cleaner”, as it’s your own domain name, however if you can’t afford to pay for the domain, then certainly go for the free option. Whilst WordPress is all I’ve ever known, there are multiple other options out there – Blogger is quite a popular platform that has been used by bloggers for many years now, another popular name on the block is Wix. Have a look at what they offer, and choose which you want to go with. Regarding the domain name, you will need to buy the name itself and then you will need a “host” for your domain. I’ve used GoDaddy is another very popular option.
Every blogging platform will come with a host of free templates you can use for your blog, and if you’re not happy with those, you an also search the internet for a range of options made by different users. The steps to uploading these web-designs/coded websites are usually fairly straight forward. Growing up, I knew my way around a HTML & CSS code so I actually used to go design and code all of my own websites (and websites for others) for a good number of years. That said, my interest in the world of web-design faded as I moved into my late teens and with the world of tech moving so fast, my knowledge is so outdated now. Instead of using my rickety old skills, I paid for this design you see here and then paid someone to help me to customise it. Again, if you are not much of a web-designer and want a unique design, I recommend the latter. That said, I know, especially when you’re younger, that the latter sometimes just isn’t a option – in which case, you really can find a ton of amazing free designs.
🤸🏾♀️ Finding your niche and being adaptable to change
What do you want to blog about? Personally, the “niche” of my blog has changed a lot over the years. At a point I was blogging about my favourite make-up brush and reviewing MAC foundations; later down the line I was posting up professional photos of myself with a West London backdrop, accompanies by links to all of the items I was wearing. One thing for sure is that whatever I was blogging about at any one point is time was what I was genuinely interested in. I like to create blogs, or social media pages, or side hustles that appeal to me as the consumer, as I always find it easier that way to come up with the best possible quality of content. Right now, I like reading posts where I can (i) get to know the writer behind the blog, (ii) walk away and reflect, and (iii) appreciate something that is very well written. When I write, I write to connect with people like me – that’s my current niche. And it’s what makes my blog unique – because of course, there is only one of me. Your so called “niche” doesn’t mean you can only blog about a narrow selection of topics – because you like to blog about beauty doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you can write about – but generally, you want to find some sort of direction for your blog as a whole so that readers know that they’re getting.
🏋🏾♀️ Consistency is always key
Ironic of me, 2 weeks since my last post, to add this in here – but indeed, consistency is key to gain readership and to start to see your blog reach the people you want it to. Generally, blogging is easier if you’re doing it because you enjoy it, vs. doing it because somebody online told you it could be your Xth stream of income. When you’re blogging because you enjoy it, then it really starts to become effortless – you’re going to want to write vs. it feeling like a chore. In my opinion, that is one of the major keys of consistency. There’s no point getting into it if you don’t enjoy it.
👯♀️ Engaging with others
Lastly – find some blogs similar to yours and you can start to build your own little community. I am often inspired by the blogs I read and there are a number of blogs that I check back on every week or two just to see what’s new. You don’t have to do your journey as a blogger as a lone ranger – get to commenting and engaging on some of your favourite posts and immerse yourself in all things blogging.
If you’re on the fence for starting a blog – hopefully this is the push you were looking for! You don’t have to wait 6 months for a huge launch – get yourself up and running, and get to writing.
Have a good week everyone!