8 Tips for the First-Time Blogger (From a 5-Year Blog Vet)
- Blogging–even as a ‘side hustle’–is a huge time commitment. Blogging as often as possible and creating a range and variety of content takes a whole lot of work. You can, of course, blog on the side for fun (which I did for my first couple years blogging). But if you want to take it to the next level and really engage with followers, there should be a pretty consistent flow of new content.
- That said, bloggers usually aren’t posting the day they create content. In fact, I try to schedule my posts up to a week ahead of time. I tend to spend a few hours every week building the posts and getting them scheduled because it can be hard to have time every single day to create something new. I often even schedule my Instagram and Facebook posts ahead of time because then it’s easier to not be struggling to find something to post.
- Content is the most important part of any blog, but consistency is key. You are building yourself as a brand. I am personally still struggling to find my “brand” as my style is constantly evolving, so trust me when I say I know this can feel awkward. But choosing a niche is critical if you want to differentiate yourself from the gazillions (an approximate estimate) of other bloggers floating around out there in jeans and loose-fitted sweaters. And if you want nice pictures? As a photographer, my top two tips are use natural light and don’t use harsh direct light.
You are building yourself as a brand. I am personally still struggling to find my “brand” as my style is constantly evolving, so trust me when I say I know this can feel awkward… but choosing a niche is critical.
- Content means more than just pretty pictures. The writing is important and finding your voice through your writing can be weird, but I think the best form is to write colloquially, the way you talk and think. If it reads like a conversation the writing will be more approachable to your audience. And please use proper grammar and spelling – it’s really not that hard to do. Yes, we all make mistakes and have typos here and there, but proofreading is easy, spellcheck exists, and Google it if you don’t know or have doubts.
- Read, a lot. And look at other bloggers, a lot. The more you read and look at other people’s content, the more inspiration you will have for your own.
- The blog world is super small, as is the fashion world in general. You cannot underestimate the value of building connections and networking amongst fellow bloggers. Be genuine, reach out to people, keep in touch with contacts that you make, go to meetups and events. Some of my best friends are people I’ve met through blogging and social media channels. It’s almost a surefire way to know that you will have something in common since fashion blogging interests a fairly specific type of person. It is also a great way to find photographers for your photos – most of my photos are taken as a tradeoff wherein I will take photos of another blogger in exchange for them taking photos for me.
You cannot underestimate the value of building connections and networking amongst fellow bloggers…also most of my photos are taken as a tradeoff wherein I will take photos of another blogger in exchange for them taking photos for me.
- The more seriously you take yourself, the more other people will take you seriously. Create a template email format for reaching out to brands, create a media kit that shows what your blog can do for a brand, and market yourself professionally.
- And on the other hand… don’t take blogging too seriously (unless you plan to make a living off of it, that’s another story). First and foremost, blogging should be fun! It’s such a great way to get out and see and try new things all while documenting those experiences. If you enjoy it, chances are your blog will be great!
more on personal branding…
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