One year ago I opened my laptop, googled ‘how to start a blog’, and the rest is history. This wasn’t an overnight decision, it was actually something I have always wanted to do. The only thing that kept me from doing it is that I didn’t know where to start. It took a lot of work and research to get here, but blogging added a whole other layer to my life. A creative, fun, and colorful layer, I might add. Although my blog is still small and new, it is something I built by myself on my own terms. I have a lot more to learn, but I wanted to share some tips I have learned throughout my first year as a blogger. I hope that anyone who wants to start their own blog finds this helpful & motivating!
Tip 1: Set Goals
This is a pretty general tip, but it is necessary. If you want your blog to grow, its definitely important to establish goals. Having goals, large or small, can serve as a helpful guide to what you should work on. One of my early goals was creating the social media accounts for my blog before my first post. A larger goal would be something like hitting 1000 followers on one account. Not all goals have to be number-based however. For example, being more active on Pinterest could be something that would help your blog. Having a goal in mind directs your focus to the things that would help achieve them.
Tip 2: Make Connections with Others
It’s amazing to me how supportive the blogging community is. I have joined different blogging groups and found everyone is really willing to help each other out. It is so beneficial to interact with people who you can relate to and share support. Don’t just do it for the numbers. Take the time to find other people who have content you really like, and engage with them through a meaningful comment. Chances are they will click your link and check your stuff out too. This is one of the more effective ways of building engagement, which is definitely more important than follower count. The support in the blogging world is definitely a two-way street! These type of connections are more valuable than a random follower. Through blogging, I have been able to connect with people around the globe and it’s really amazing to see all different kinds of inspiring content.
Tip 3: Just be Yourself
I know this is really cliché, but it is so applicable. For example, I have the hardest times writing captions on Instagram (is anyone else like this??). It wasn’t until recently, where I just wrote a random thought I had, & got a lot of responses out of it. This might sound like a minor thing, but it made me feel a lot better and less concerned about always trying to find the ‘right’ thing to say. For me, it’s refreshing to see other bloggers show a bit of their personality amidst a sea of sponsored content and ads. Also, it’s a good way to interact with others when posting something that opens up a dialogue.
Tip 4: Plan & Organize
I admit that I can definitely improve in planning and organizing my posts. Usually, I work on a post over the course of a few days since I can only devote time after work. But I can’t really write a post without photos so I set aside a morning during the weekend to shoot. Once I have a blog post ready, then I’ll put up 3 photos across my social media platforms to promote it. Having a fixed timeline can definitely improve your consistency. I also write lists of topics/trends that I want to talk about and plan from there. Luckily, I have stockpiled some photos throughout the last month so I can stay on schedule! Another popular strategy is having a blogging calendar. Here is a helpful page that shows how you could organize EVERYTHING (blog posts, tweets, instagram posts, etc).
Tip 5: Keep Going
Nothing is more discouraging than seeing your stats or number of followers drop or remain unchanged. I remember publishing my first post and only got a handful of views. Literally, a number I can count with my fingers. However, the worst thing to do is to stop completely. The BEST thing to do is to keep going. The more content you have, the more likely it will be viewed, with the help of creating quality posts and promoting yourself on other platforms. Consistency is key and utilizing social media platforms helped me a lot. Also, you can always start with your own network of people (i.e your personal Facebook friends, family, etc) to build an audience. I’m looking at you, mom!
My first tip talked about goals, and I already have some in mind. I want to talk about more lifestyle topics and move my blog more in that direction, however I will keep up my outfit posts. Next year, I am planning on travelling a bit more so hoping to have more travel posts. Also, a lot of my focus has been primarily on Instagram this past year. I want to shift that focus more on writing posts, so I want to have something new up at least once a week!
Today’s Look: Fall Preview
Just a quick little tidbit on today’s outfit. I think that my style has definitely evolved since I started blogging. My entire look is from Zara, nix the purse and shoes. These trousers are so flattering and fit so well, I probably might have to get another pair in a different color! I purchased the trousers specifically for work, but thought they deserved to be worn for fun too. For a fun twist, I chose this mesh top from Zara which will probably make it’s way back on a later post. Fall is my favorite season so I am excited to be rolling out more fall looks.
So there you have it, five short but important tips I’ve learned this past year plus some new goals. I would love to hear anyone else’s thoughts or experiences about their first year of blogging!
Til next time,