Blogging | Advice for Starting a Blog
Where to Begin?
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Much to my dismay I am not some super-cool jet setting, event-going blogger. I am a girl, sat in her bedroom at 2 o' clock in the morning splitting my time between writing this long-overdue blog post and fangirling over Estee Button's vlog channel. Sound familiar?
There is nothing, n-o-t-h-i-n-g, special about a blogger or a youtuber except the time and hard work that they put in. Everyone has to start somewhere, you don't just wake up and suddenly have hundreds of thousands of followers (and if you do, where have I been?!). I'm afraid we all have to go the long way round, so this is it my guide to you from blogging ground zero.
People use a lot of different writing styles, mine is just my inner monologue. It's chatty, relatable and (sometimes) witty. Find your voice and use it.
The next step is easy. Choose something you love and let the words flow. You don't have to limit yourself to one topic, plenty of bloggers utilise a variety of topics in their content.
I cannot stress this point enough. Just because you're starting a blog, whether it be beauty based or other, you don't have to go out and blow the best part of your budget ona DSLR - though some photography fanatics like me choose to because we know we'll get the enjoyment out of it that makes it worth it. Also because we more than likely have a job and have saved up for and coveted it for years. That helps. But if that's not you, use your phone as the camera. Most new phones can take relatively high resolution shots with decent macro and can film in HD.
Keep it steady and "invest" in a small tripod from a discount store or eBay (they're less than a pound!).
Remember the key to any photo is lighting. That means being in a well lit room in front of a big window, or outside taking full advantage of the natural light.
Keep your subject in focus and try to keep clutter at a minimal, whether it's cleaning up your bedroom or being delicate with the fresh flowers and vases and candles that are all the rage. Less is more - trust me!
Post-photographing comes the editing process, and no I don't mean Instagram. There are plenty of free websites and apps out there that will automatically adjust your photo for the best possible exposure and colour and plenty more than allow you to manually control things like brightness and contract so you can make every photo the best it can be.
Good photos attract a lot of people to your blog, I know many bloggers - including myself - who won't stick around for grainy, dark photos that butcher the products we love. It may be a phenomenally well written review but as they say a photo speaks a thousand words. So spend some time and get it right to make sure what it's saying is worth it.
Twitter. Facebook pages. Instagram. There are so many ways to promote your blog and it's up to you if you use them, but keep in mind that it's a lot of work to maintain more than one social media platform. Especially if you have more than one account, however provided you have the time it'll be worth it in the end.
I'm just going to say it, there's no one out there who would suffer from looking at a pretty blog design. But these can cost quite literally hundreds. Thankfully there are thousands of free designs just waiting to be found on the internet, or you can research coding and build your own. What are you waiting for? Get googling.
Where do you go from here?
I despise the idea of the correct "blogging etiquette". Surely it's just called being nice to people, and being yourself? The blogging community is a fantastic place and I have made some amazing friends because of it, so dive in feet first and go join in the chat on twitter, find a local meet or organise one yourself. I promise you you won't regret it.
Remember, we all appear much cooler on the internet. To read more posts in my #BloggingHacks series, click here.