Believe it or not, I started blogging over five and a half years ago. FIVE AND A HALF YEARS I KNOW! It’s crazy.
Back then, the blogosphere was unsaturated and mainly consisted of awkward outfit photos wearing your beloved Jeffrey Campbell Litas or creepers and Essie Mint Candle Apple nail polish. It was okay back then to only have 76 Instagram followers and not edit your photos properly and everything was a lot more lighthearted. Nowadays there’s the battle with stats, followers, bitchiness (from brands and bloggers) and everything is just a lot harder to crack. But don’t let any of that scare you off if you’re new to blogging or are still deciding whether you want to blog or not… I’m here to help!
I thought I’d put together my top tips for anyone new to the whole blogging thing as it can be so daunting at first and you might think, ‘is there really room for little old me in this big pond?’ and the answer is YES. There is room for absolutely everyone in this thing that we do but I’ll come onto that later.
Blogger vs WordPress
When starting your blog, one of your first and biggest decisions will be ‘what platform do I use?’ The two main ones are Blogger and WordPress. I can’t even remember why I went for Blogger in the first place but it did me well until a few weeks ago when I decided to migrate to WordPress. Since using WordPress, I genuinely don’t know why I stayed with Blogger for so long now that I host my own website and have fallen in love with its functionality. I suggest you do your research and read through some comparison websites and people’s experiences with using both (or any others you can think of).
Nail your layout
It’s not all about looks but I get turned off a blog really easily if the layout is poor and I know I’m not the only one. I’m not saying to go out and spend £50 on a template, although the Pipdig layouts are dreaaaamyyy, but make sure your text is easy to read, images are clear and there’s not too much going on in terms of colours, fonts, borders, etc.
Spend time choosing a name
I remember sitting there with a notepad in my lessons at school scribbling down any blog names I could think of and it’s a really bloody hard task! My biggest advice would be don’t rush and try to think up a name which doesn’t limit your blog to anything in particular. It’s actually for that reason that I’m thinking of changing my blog name purely because ‘The Rawrdrobe’ implies fashion posts but actually I talk a lot more about lifestyle and beauty so I just don’t know if it fits anymore. Something else to consider is that your blog name will be your brand for the foreseeable future so you need to really love it and be proud to say the name of your blog.
Try and get the same handle
Following on from the previous point, when you’re setting up your blog and social media channels, try and get the same username for every account. For example, I managed to bag ‘therawrdrobe’ on Twitter, Instagram Pinterest and Facebook and my URL is katystephenson.com so it makes it super easy to find me on different platforms. It’s definitely worth taking your time with but don’t forget you can always change your username!
You don’t need to invest in a camera
Back in the day you could get away with taking a picture on your iPhone 4 in the most yellow lighting and everything was cool. Even though most don’t do that anymore, you can still use your phone for your photography and don’t even need to pick up a DSLR. Holly at The Kitty Luxe has written so many handy posts on how you don’t need to invest in a camera for your blog photography amongst other tips and tricks and I completely and utterly recommend reading all of them! Her blog is one that goes to show that you don’t need to spend £££ to nail your photos!
Remember there’s always room for another blogger
We all remember when that blogger said ‘there’s no space for any more bloggers’ but to put it frankly, it’s bollocks. Yes, it’s a very saturated market but everyone can bring something new to the table otherwise you wouldn’t have some bloggers grow as quickly as they do! Admittedly, you need to find your own style/niche whether that’s through your written content or your aesthetic which is something I have always struggled with (hence why I’m still a very small blogger for someone who’s been doing it for so many years) but it’s doable and you shouldn’t let anyone put you off.
Have an idea of what you want to talk about
So you’ve set up your blog, you’re raring to go but what do you actually want to talk about? I think a good start to figuring this out would be to jot down all the topics you want to write about and then make subcategories. So you may have fashion as one of your topics and within that you want outfit posts, fashion favourites, monthly fashion inspiration, etc. This way, you’ll know what direction you want your blog to take and it’ll give you a few ideas of what you can post about. I really wish I’d done this at the beginning because for the first year-ish of The Rawrdrobe, I literally spoke about anything and everything and didn’t know which direction I wanted to go down!
Get active on social media
We all know that social media is a blessing and a curse but while you’re starting out, use it to your advantage! Follow other bloggers (big and small), get involved in conversations and Twitter chats, engage with others’ content, tag retweet accounts in your tweets, you know – all that good stuff! You’ll often find that social media can be a huge source of traffic to your blog (at least I do anyway) so make sure you’re active on it and converse with other bloggers because it can do the world of good!
Just do you
So everyone’s raving about this new foundation and writing reviews left, right and centre but if you write travel content then don’t feel swayed to write about that foundation just because the world and his wife are. Or you might find that your favourite bloggers have Instagram themes but you prefer to upload whatever the hell you like, don’t change this just because of their content. You see what I’m saying? I know it’s cringe af but nobody does you better than you *literally dying inside* so don’t try and imitate what everyone else is doing because trust me, people will see straight through you!
I hope this post means you can learn from my mistakes and kick start your blog the right way! Don’t sweat it if you go wrong along the way though, it’s just a part of the process and there’s nothing to worry about!
Do you have any tips that could help first time bloggers out?