Hello everyone! I've had my blog for a little over 2 years now, and while I'm still growing and figuring a lot of things out, I thought I'd share the tips and tricks I've learned. Starting a blog is definitely a scary thing, but I'm here to help! Here are the tips I wish I knew when I started my blog...
It's gonna be scary, just own it
The biggest challenge is getting over the fear that comes with starting a blog. And trust me, it is scary! You're putting yourself out there for the whole world to see. Yes, people are going to talk about it. Yes, some people will probably even mock it... but seriously, WHO CARES. The second I stopped caring about others' opinions was when I realized that running a blog makes ME happy, and that is all that matters. You just gotta own it! Fake it till you make it.
Find a platform that works for you
This alone took countless trails and errors. I use Weebly, and I love it. Unlike WordPress, you can see exactly what your post is going to look like while you're making it. Anyone could use Weebly... A baby could use Weebly! It's that simple. The only downfall is that you have less personalization than with WordPress. As your website grows, customization is key. There are more premade templates available to purchase for WordPress users than for Weebly users. It's a bummer but for beginners I would recommend Weebly. CAUTION: All platforms will give you starting off templates for free. Once you want your own design, you'll have to buy one. Depending on where you buy it, or if it is custom, it can cost anywhere from $40-$600+. Mine was about $40.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Social media is your BEST FRIEND... Live it, breath it, love it, use it. It is important to know your audience on each social media platform and what they'd want to see. If you're a fashion blogger, you should hit Instagram and Pinterest since your blog will be made up of mostly photographs and visuals.
It's important to know who you are talking to when on social media. Your audience on Instagram is different than your audience on Facebook. Instagram is made up of younger viewers whereas Facebook will contain young adults+. If youre writing a blog about, lets say, parenting tips you would want to dedicate your focus to growing your Facebook platform. But this doesn't mean you should only use one social platform... USE THEM ALL! The bigger reach the better.
Branding is so important. It's essential to find your niche and develop an iconic image for yourself. For example, I try to make more quality posts rather than a huge quantity of posts. Another thing I promote on my website is that I don't retouch myself in my photos. I strive stray away from societies harsh definition of beauty and to encourage women to love their bodies no matter the size.
your insta better aesthetic af
Yep, that's right... Your Insta (or any social media) has to be aesthetic AF. It's probably going to be the first thing that someone sees before clicking to your website or following your profile, so you've got to make it good. Don't judge a book by it's cover? PSHH forget that... Your Instagram is the cover and your website is the book, and trust me, people are going to judge it!
Making money is harder than it seems
This is the hardest part about blogging. I laugh when I see articles that titled 'Easy Ways To Make Money' and blogging is at the top of the list. 1) Blogging is not easy, it takes a ton of time and effort and 2) having a large enough following to grab influencer's attention will not happen over night. I've had my blog for two years and still struggle with this!
To apply for Reward Style (AKA #liketoknowit) your Instagram following should be at least 2000, and you should have fairly heavy traffic to your site. WARNING: You can only apply to Reward Style once, so make it could (I learned this the hard way). Seek out affiliate programs such as Social Fabric or Amazon Affiliate. Click here to read the ULTIMATE guide to making money (via IFB).
consistent posting matters
Ah, this is definitely the most difficult part (or at least what I struggle with the most). It is SO important to keep up with consistent posting. I (try to) post every Wednesday and Sunday. People love schedules, so if you give them one-- they'll follow along. The more you post and the more often you post the more followers you'll have.
hashtags, hashtags, hashtag
Oh boy, don't get me started on hashtags. Hashtags are crucial for growing your social media following, especially if you're just starting out. On Instagram you can only use 30 hashtags per post so choose carefully! I like to google 'trending fashion hashtag' or something similar. I do this in order to get the most reach out of each hashtag. WARNING: Hashtags on Pinterest are insignificant so don't use them-- they will hurt you not help you!
Another tip I wish I would have known about YEARS ago is using an Instagram liking bot to grow your following. No, an Insta liking bot doesn't buy likes or followers for you. This tool will automatically like peoples photographs if they follow similar people or use the same hashtags as you. Pretty cool, right? I've been using it for less than a month and, so far, my following has increased 600 followers! There are tons of different 'liking bot' companies out there, but they usually don't come cheap. Do your research!
it's ok to ask for help
Seriously, it's ok to ask for help! I tend to get into a competitive mentality and forget that I need advice. In the long run, it hurts me rather than helps me. Don't be afraid to reach out to influential bloggers and ask them how they achieved their success. Honestly, I'm sure they'd love to brag about it, so listen!! I LOVE the blogger Amber Fillerup Clark (www.barefootblonde.com), and aim to have her success. So what did I do? I emailed her! And sure enough, she wrote me back a long list of helpful tips. Here's what she said:
"Thanks so much for your email, you are so sweet!! Congrats on starting a blog, that is very exciting!!! Blogging is a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work too. Just keep in mind as you’re reading this that there are unfortunately no secret formulas, just a few things you can do to make it a more enjoyable experience for you, and when it’s enjoyable for you, people will want to follow.
Another thing I would recommend is finding a site intended for giving bloggers advice-- kind of like a blogging society. I really, REALLY, like IFB. Their content is always super helpful.
My name is Emma Engilman. The goal of my blog is to encourage self confidence and stray away from societies definition of "beauty." I refuse to retouch my appearance in Photoshop, so enjoy my flaws because they make me-- me!