Showing posts with label Blogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogger. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 March 2016

What to know before starting a blog

I'm definitely still learning when it comes to blogging but I have been receiving more questions lately on blogging tips than anything else. There's definitely a few things I wish I knew before starting a blog so hopefully this helps some of you who are hoping to start.

1. Really think about your blog name, I mean really
I think a lot of bloggers end up deciding a few years in that actually the first thing they thought of as a blog name wasn't such a good idea. I'm not crazy about 'Hairstyle Design', as it can cause a little confusion in person as usually people don't understand what I've said or don't 'get' the name as I blog about more than just hair now. Definitely take your time when thinking of yours, it doesn't need to be a rushed decision. If you're really stuck for a blog name just use your own. It sounds obvious but you're unlikely to hate your own name after a few years! Also, if you pick something fairly short and that's easy to spell you're onto a winner.

2. Research platforms and having your own domain
I chose to start a blog as it's free, easy to use and a lot of the bloggers I followed at the time were using the same platform. There are other options though like ,  or you could have your own website entirely. All have pros and cons so it really depends on your budget and what you're looking for. I would recommend getting your own domain name early on too as it instantly makes your blog look a little more professional and shows you take it seriously. I'm in the process of sorting mine out and I definitely wish it was something I did sooner as it's proving to be an awkward process.

3. Have a clear idea of what content you want to post
I knew when I started a blog that most of my posts were going to be about hair but I didn't really consider doing anything else. If you have a clear idea on your content it will make it easier to appeal to your audience as they'll know what to expect. You can of course introduce other topics you're passionate about at a later stage (like I did) but if you have a clear idea in the beginning it'll help you stay focused.

4. It's about more than just the writing 
Having a blog, especially if it becomes more successful, is like having a small business or brand. My whole blogging experience has been a learning curve from photography, html coding, video editing and even marketing. You don't need to know it all when starting, I certainly still don't, but at least be ready to learn if you're not able to rely on someone else to help you. Google and YouTube will be your best friend in helping you learn.

5. Having a blog will cost you initially 
This really depends on the individual and what you have at your disposal already. I didn't spend much money initially and I would encourage anyone to rely on whatever you have before pumping a lot of money into your blog. Eventually I purchased items like blog layouts, cameras and accessories to take photos, props, equipment to make videos and a Macbook as I knew that would be more reliable than my old tired laptop. These are technically investments which you could use for other purposes and not just blogging but you may not see a tangible 'return' on these.

6. You don't need the best or most expensive camera, but great photography helps. 
Visuals are critical. It's a fact that websites, Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts with high quality photos generate the most clicks and likes. You can take great pictures with a basic digital camera or a smartphone but for me a DSLR took my pictures to the next level. I knew nothing about using a DSLR when I started my blog so I used a point and shoot camera for a long time but I was never quite happy with the result. Lighting has always been an issue for me as I have a small space with minimal light. A DSLR is a lot more flexible when taking and editing photos. I definitely saw a massive shift in readership as soon as I started taking better photos and I've seen the same happen to other bloggers too.