Hey Everyone !
Can you believe the Labor Day weekend is over already ? This weekend has just flown by and just like that we are back into the week. This weekend was so much fun ! I had Sunday and Monday off, and to make the last weekend of summer special we decided to spend Sunday at Cabana Pool Bar in Toronto. It was my first time there and it was absolutely amazing (more to come about that very soon !) I definitely recommend checking it out if you are in the area ! Monday was just spent in recovery, in my bed with Netflix; it was nice just to have a day relaxing and doing nothing but now it is time to come back to reality.
Today I am coming to you with an Advice post, the second of it’s kind. I am liking writing these, they are really fun and a bit different to write than my usual posts so it’s a nice change every once in a while, I think I am going to start doing them more often, so hopefully you like them haha !
This particular post will be 10 Blogging Tips I Wish I Knew When I Started. Starting a blog is a lot of fun and definitely a learning experience, I know when I first began it was the most unprofessional looking thing and I just did it as a place to write, a journal of sorts… if you go back to my first post it is pretty hilarious. Now, I am not saying that my blog is perfect at all, in fact it is VERY far from but I have learned a few things along the way that I would like to share with you so that if you are looking to start a blog you don’t have to start at ground zero.
So you have decided you want to make a blog. Great ! It is a great outlet to be creative and share what you love with the world – whether that be fashion, food, fitness, whatever you like; but before you actually make your blog you should do some research. Pick your niche and make it something you are passionate about, you don’t want to start a fitness blog only to realize that in a month time you are totally over going to the gym and have nothing to write about. You want people to want to read your content and when you are passionate about something people will want to read it. Once you have picked your niche try to find other blogs with similar content, see what they are doing and what you would like to do and document it for when you start your blog. Now, another thing that you will have to do some research on is blogging tips and tricks and your basic html. Now, I didn’t do this when I first started and I regret it terribly. The best way to find the information you will need is simply by going to Pinterest and searching Blogging Tips, you will have to read a lot but I’m telling you it will be worth it and you will learn all of the things you need to know. You can check out my Pinterest board Here with links to a few great resources.
You may think that the templates that Blogger or WordPress come with will be okay to start with but I am telling you, you will be so much more happy with buying a template. Firstly, everything is pretty much already done and you won’t have to do to much to it to make it how you want it to look, and secondly, unless you are already a wiz with html, it will look a lot more professional. You don’t have to spend that much money on a template either, I have seen beautiful ones on Etsy starting at $5.00. I chose to go with an Envye design, because I happened to see another blog that used it and it looked beautiful. It was a little more expensive at $60.00 but I am really happy with her designs, have used two so far and they both work wonderfully (they come with extra features and things to make your life easier). So no matter what amount you want to spend, you will thank me for purchasing your blog template, I promise.
Before you sit down and post your first blog post (you can write it if you like just keep it saved ) you want to have your entire blog set up the way you want it. I know that may be really hard, when I first started I literally sat down wrote my post and posted it, not thinking about how anything looked I just want to get it out there. Once again though, you want people to come back to read your great content and if your blog doesn’t look nice, doesn’t have links to follow you et. there is a much less chance of that happening. I wish I had made my blog the way I wanted it first so I could spend those first few weeks after my first post creating and uploading content rather than trying to make my blog look appealing. This is where your pre-made template will come in handy, because it will already look nice you just have to make a few tweaks to make it exactly how you want it. Once your blog has all of the aspects you want it to have and looks how you want it to, then post away ! You will be proud of your first post unlike me who cringes when they see it.
Most people are Visual creatures so the first thing they look at and judge when they come to your blog is photos. Beautiful, clear photos are always the goal when it comes to blogging and by investing in a good camera you can be assured your photos will catch peoples attention and not turn them away. You don’t have to spend a whole lot on a camera either, with a moderately priced one and some good lighting your photos will be just as good as someone with a very expensive camera, you just need to know how to use it. Having a great camera and only using it on the pre-set settings is a huge mistake because you can do so much more with your camera and make your images really beautiful with just a little bit of knowledge and playing around with your camera. If you have a DSLR I suggest starting to play around with the TV (shutter) and AV (aperture) modes first, just to get comfortable with the different elements of shooting and then once you are comfortable with those and understand how it all works together to create a photo move onto M (manual) to create the best photos your camera can take. Here is a cheat sheet to help you understand the camera functions better, but if that is not enough I recommend this book – it helped me understand photography a lot better. If you only have a simple point and shoot ( and as I said that is okay they can take great images too ) it is still important to play around with things such as the white balance, exposure and all of the features on your camera to make your photos the best they can be as well.
Photos always need editing, always. It doesn’t matter if you took the perfect photo, you can always fix the exposure, tone, highlights, shadows, sharpness et. in your photos. No photo is ever exactly perfect as you shoot it, it is always a good idea just to go in and make it as beautiful as possible by fixing one or a few things. By doing this your photos will look even more appealing to your readers and will just make them want to come back to your blog even more. Photography is everything in the blog world, but editing has a huge part as well. If you don’t want to shell out an arm and a leg for Photoshop (which I do recommend because it really is amazing) there are also some free sites that will fix most of the things you want to fix anyways such as PicMonkey which also has an upgrade that you can pay a little bit for which gives you more options, and I think you can do a few things in iPhoto on Mac’s as well.
This is a huge one. If you want your website to not have that .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com at the end of it you will have to purchase your domain name (aka your website name). There are plenty of websites you can do this through, I personally used GoDaddy and it was pretty cheap, I think I paid $1.99 for the first year and it is something like $16.99 each year after that. Not bad considering what it does for the look of your blog, it makes it much more professional and look like an actual website; I know that I click on a lot more blogs who don’t have .blogspot.com / .wordpress.com to check out because I know they put a little more time and effort into it and will probably in turn be better blogs.
Also, by buying your domain no one else can have the same blog name as you so that it also a plus when it comes to SEO and the searchability of your blog.
Your pages will become some of the most visited pages on your blog so you want to make sure you have them. These are usually an about me page, a contact page, an archive page, and any other features you feel people would want to have access to on your blog. It makes it a lot easier for your readers to find out more about you, brands and companies get to know who you are, if they want to work with you and make it easy to contact you and people to find specific posts they may have seen before and want to find again. I also suggest having a photo on your about me page, just because it is about you and biographies usually have photos attached to them. Another thing I suggest doing is having categories of your posts so they are easier to find, for example I have on my blog Fashion, Lifestyle, and Travel. This makes it easier for readers find one specific thing they are interested in, if they only want to read about Fashion they can click on that page link and only Fashion posts will come up. It also keeps your blog a lot more organized and things are easy to find.
This is something I just recently started doing and oh my does is make a difference. The larger your photos are, and the more space they take up of the overall page, the larger the impact they make. If you are talking about a certain trend and your photos are small and they can’t see the details of what your talking about, it’s all for nothing isn’t it ? You want people to see what you are talking about and you also want your photos to be as lovely and well presented as possible. After learning how to take the best photos with your camera and editing them to perfection you want them to be the center of attention and you want people to appreciate how nice they are, and the best way to do that is make them right in your face as large as they can be.
One way to get people to come back to your blog religiously is continuously changing and updating it. A big full on makeover is something that I think should be done whenever you are really bored with your blog’s design, but you can do small updates here and there to make it feel new and fresh without fully changing everything. I don’t think I will ever be 100% happy with how my blog looks, I am constantly tweaking little things here and there to make it better and doing more research to better it. I don’t think that will ever stop because nothing is perfect and as I learn more about different aspects of html, and blog designs in general I fix what I have to be the way I want it to. A great list of easy things you can do that don’t take very much time at all are Here.
I feel like this is a pretty obvious one but a Bloglovin’ account to me is a must for every blogger. I personally follow all of my favorite blogs on Bloglovin’ and rarely anywhere else. That is a huge deal because if someone doesn’t have a Bloglovin’ account that I would love to follow, I 90% won’t be following them. I will be disappointment they don’t have an account, but I probably won’t subscribe to their mailing list because for me it is pretty inconvenient; I check up on all the blogs I follow on Bloglovin’, usually daily, so going into my email to see a post just isn’t very realistic for me. Now, I do follow peoples mailing lists if I like them a lot just to show support but I don’t actually click on the link to their post from my email, I just go to Bloglovin’ instead. I feel like this is the way most blog readers are, so it is a must that you have a Bloglovin’ account if you want people to see your posts.
And those are all of my tips for now ! I wrote a lot more than I was planning to haha, but I feel like it is just so important to have at least a stepping stone of knowledge before you jump into the water. I hope this helped some of you ! I know a lot of you reading this probably already have blogs but for those of you who don’t or just want a little more info about my blogging process I hope you also enjoyed this post ! I could go on forever with more tips so if you would like a second part to this in the future let me know and that is something that I could definitely do !
Thank you so much for reading lovelies, I hope you had a wonderful long weekend <3