What I learned in my first year of blogging - My 16 top tips for starting a blog

If you had asked me what a blog was 18 months ago I wouldn't have really known ... I generally regarded them as a pointless online diary or a way for brands to drone on on their website about their products. But since starting Ethical Bunny last year, I couldn't be happier and have never had such a rewarding hobby. I get it now, I get why so many people (like 400 million?) have started a blog. Obviously, some people do it for money which I think is fair enough, but I feel like for most it is about the expression of self. Writing a blog post is a chance few get during the working day, to express your own views and feelings or your passion for a particular subject. It's an extension of self and provides an outlet and a virtual space to express and connect.

With that in mind, I thought I would share my tips on what I have learned from a year of blogging (yes I know I'm still a blogging baby) on how to get the most out of your blog and to get it how you want it. I hope you all enjoy my tips and get something from it, however, the best way to learn is always just to start. If you want to start a blog don't ever be scared of what people will say... Everyone makes spelling and grammar mistakes everyone forgets to post or has technical difficulties etc. (I currently still do); its all about the developing process and the learning curve.

1. Choose your platform! Obviously, I recommend blogger.. if like me you work 50+ hours a week a WordPress site will be very demanding and time-consuming to set up. If you have the time that's great but if you want something you can create on a lazy Sunday afternoon choose blogger.

2. Make sure your content is original! I've seen quite a few people say your blog has to focus on one thing but as you can see from mine I don't think that's true. I think it probably helps when fitting into a niche to be picked up by a brand... but why bother? I personally think a blog should be dynamic, flexible and the subject should reflect your interests. If that is one specific thing great, but if it doesn't? Who cares! I started my blog to share my favourite beauty products and document my journey going cruelty-free, however, this opened the door and my eyes to so many other contemporary environmental issues I wanted to learn about and explore!

3. One more technical tip I would recommend when you start your blogging journey is that you join Bloglovin. This way its easy to share posts and promote them to other bloggers and people that like reading blogs. It will also give you a chance to follow and be followed by other bloggers. 

4. OK, my spelling and grammar are slightly questionable ... but hey I'm dyslexic. One thing that has really helped me improve my writing and blogging is downloading Grammarly especially as the spellcheck function on Blogger is so poor.

5. Don't bother waiting to get expensive cameras etc. before you start your blog. I know most bloggers seem to have a Mac, expensive camera every gadget and tripod under the sun but you don't NEED these things. They will improve your image quality on your images but you can take pretty good images on phones now and unless you have that money to burn I wouldn't bother. 

6. If you decide to start your blog on Blogger, they have lots of templates for you to choose from to get started. After your first few posts, however, I would recommend getting a template for your blog from Etsy. There you can buy artwork and help develop the look and feel of your blog and prices start from about £4.00

7. Use labels tags and keywords properly in your blog and your blog post. These will help people searching for blog posts find your blog.

8. Be prepared for your blog to change shape over time. What you write about, the quality and the subject, as well as your blog design, will naturally develop and this is ok it's all part of the process nothing is 'perfect' or 'set' from the beginning!

9. Get a prop box for to help you create flat lays! If you want some inspiration and want to know what a flat lay is, just go over to my Pinterest. This is a great way of displaying products and making them look interesting. A prop box is literally that! just a load of bits and bobs you can add into a picture to create a flat lay.. (I'm not an expert but comment below if you want to know what kind of things I put in my prop box!)

10. Post regularly... Yeh I know I'm not great at this! Posting at least once a week and on the same day is great when you start and want to build up your content. Posting on the same day means people know when to check your blog for updates too!

11. Ir if you just use Blogger or if you use Google analytics or any other tool make sure you check who is coming to your site and when; this can give you so much insight into your audience and can help you time and tailor your posts!

12. Noone is good at writing blogs when they start but my rule of thumb is to try and hook people in the first line, and never go over 500 words! Shorter blog posts with lots of images tend to do better but some people love to read and will appreciate blogs with longer posts. I personally try and keep to about 300 words and the amount of images depends on the subject.

13. Don't compare your blog to other peoples blogs! Most bloggers have been blogging for years and comparing your month old or year old blog to something someone else has built up over years will only hurt your blogging confidence1 Also there is no right or wrong way to blog, so don't be hard on yourself it's meant to be fun!

14. Do link to brands websites, the article you have used etc! this makes it easy for brands to see you and your readers buy what you are writing about. Also if you are writing something about a news story or environmental problem its good to show you have done your research and backed up your opinions.

15. Do ask friends and family to read your blog, this will help grow your readership especially in the beginning.

16. Relax its meant to be fun and no one gets everything right the first time! 

I hope you have all enjoyed this I just thought I would write something a little different today to celebrate my blogs birthday.

No comments

Post a Comment