Are you a new blogger or interested in blogging? Today on the blog I’m sharing a few helpful tips for newbie bloggers. Now, I’m no expert blogger, but I have learned a few things along the way, that I’d love to share!
When I first started blogging, it was this unknown world, there’s no master guide to blogging, it’s just you and the internet. I had so many questions on how to do things and even what I “should” do as a blogger. At times it would be frustrating and time-consuming and by the end of it, I would still be confused. So here’s are a few things I’ve learned while blogging over that past year.
*This blog post contains affiliate links that I may make a commission from. All thoughts are my own.
CREATE YOUR OWN WEBSITE
This is probably the most important thing to do. And the reason why is because you own it! So many people (including myself) put all their effort into Instagram, which don’t get me wrong, it’s a great platform, but, you don’t own it! They can do whatever they want with it and you don’t really have a say. I hear and see so many people complain about the “algorithm.” But I honestly don’t really care about it. Just keep posting what you know you and your followers like and get them to go to your website. Encourage people to subscribe to your blog, that way the’ll always see your content. You’ll be right there in their e-mail.
There a lot of ways you can create your own website, and it
can, IS very confusing and takes hard work, unless your a coding genius, which I’m not. Although, I did dabble during my Myspace days! Queue the laughter. I currently use WordPress, although, I have heard great things about Square Space and have considered switching over. I just haven’t made the leap yet. I definitely recommend doing your research to see which website hosts fit your needs.
Now this can be a hard one, but it pays off. Do your best to be consistent. Consistent with blog posts, photo styles and most of all your niche. Decide on how often you want to post, whether it’s once a week, every other week or even once a month. Do what works for your schedule and what won’t burn you out.
One helpful and efficient tip is instead of trying to find something to write about every week, or however often you decide to post, you can create a list of topics and set aside one day to write all your blog posts for that month and schedule to post them later. That way all the blog posts are out of the way and you can focus on other things!
When taking photos for your blog, try to maintain a cohesiveness. It will help your blog to have better flow and look more put together. A way to do that is to have a similar way of editing your photos. Often times people will buy a preset (basically a filter) or create their own to add to their photos to have a more put together look. Decide on your color scheme and go from there!
Lastly, and most importantly is to find your niche. Often times people take on too many topics and they’re all over the place. When you refine your niche it gives you more of a trustworthy opinion. You have that one area or maybe two that you specialize in. When I first started blogging my main thing was fashion and a side of motherhood, but I also tried throwing in DIY, and cooking. And although those are things I enjoy, they’re not really my specialty. I ultimately decided to refocus my blog on fashion and motherhood.
Podcasts are a great way to get in the know of so many things, so when it comes to blogging it’s no exception! One of my favorites is, The Influencer Podcast by Julie Solomon. This was one of the first blogging/influencer podcasts I found, and it has been my absolute favorite from the start. The host, Julie Solomon, has so much much insight on the influencer world and marketing. Every week she interviews successful influencers and bloggers and they discuss how to “engage, persuade and grow their unique influence.” I’ve learned the importance of creating your own brand and remaining true to it, how to promote your brand, and I’ve even gained confidence to reach out, or “pitch” myself to brands. She also hosts a free webinar,”5 Simple Pitch Strategies to Land Your First $5K Brand Deal.” Which was amazing, I might add! She explains how to word your pitches, specifically on how they should be about the brand and how you can help them. You can find it here.
Monetizing your Blog
Yup! You can make money by blogging! There are a few ways to land your first paid campaign. You can pitch yourself to a brand or, if you’re not ready to put yourself out there, you can use a third party that will connect you with brands. Don’t let your number of followers discourage you from reaching out to a brand. Be bold and just try it! The worst thing that could happen is they say. “No”. And you’ll be exactly where you were before you reached out! However, if you’re not ready you can use a third party. The first third party company I used was Heartbeat. It’s a free app that’ll connect you with companies to work together. There are a variety of campaigns they offer. For some they do product as payment and others they’ll send you a product and pay you. They have their own way to determine your pay rate, and although it starts off small, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door working with other companies. You can click here for a referral link! *By using this link, I will make a small commission.
GRAPHIC DESIGN…for dummies
Now that you’ve got your website done, you’ll need graphics to add to your blog posts and to help market it through other platforms (IG, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) My favorite website for designing all my blog graphics is Canva. This website is seriously the BEST. And it’s free! They do have “CanvaPro” which is also great, but I’m all about free stuff and honestly, I don’t think it’s that necessary. They have so many great templates for pretty much whatever you want to make. They have tons of stock photos to make blog banners, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, Facebook banners, you name it, they’ve got it! Canva has made making all my blog graphics so much more fun and easy!
Lighting. Now I’m no photographer, but I do know to you NEED to have good lighting. Make sure your’e in a well lit area or if it’s too sunny you can find a shaded area.
Good Quality Photos. When taking your photos, try to make sure you have a clean background, where there aren’t too many distractions. Don’t be afraid to take a bunch of photos, whether they’re of you, your kids, food. Play around with angles and try out different poses!
Presets. Like I mentioned earlier, presets are a great way to get a cohesive look to your feed. You may still have to play around with the settings after adding the preset to a photo.
Planning Out Your Content. I enjoy planning out my content to see which photos work well together. Sometimes you may end up with too much of one color in one spot on you feed, or the same pose three times in a row. In my opinion it’s nice to space them for a better flowing feed and a little diversity in your photos. A couple apps I use are Planoly (the free version) and the Preview App. You can plan out your content and if you prefer, the app can post directly to Instagram so you don’t have to!
Get Your Content Seen. An easy way for your followers to see your content is to add it to your stories. Often times, your post may not show up on other peoples’ feeds, because “the algorithm” so adding them to your stories is a helpful way to get your followers to see your content.
Captions. Often times people (myself included) don’t put much effort into their captions. But they are a great way to get people to engage on your photo. Put in a “call to action”. Ask a question that your followers actually care about and start talking! The more engagement you have on a post, the more Instagram will take note that it’s something your followers actually want to see and could even end up on the explore page!
Engage, Engage, Engage!
One thing I’ve learned that is super important is to engage. Companies are starting to see that it’s not all about the number of followers. You could have a ton of followers but are they actually interested in what you’re sharing? Are they engaging? If not, then you don’t have much of an “influence.” And your followers won’t be able to relate to you. Engaging with other bloggers also makes for great connections! And you’re supporting each other!
And lastly giveaways! These are a great way to grow your following and thank your followers for sticking around. You can do them on your own or reach out to other bloggers to join you! You can also include that people subscribe to your blog for extra entries, which is a great way to get more exposure to your blog, which will then turn into stats you can use when pitching yourself to brands!
That wraps up my tips for newbie bloggers! If you made it to the end, thanks for hanging in there! I hope these tips are helpful and get you inspired to create!
Let me know what you favorite blogging/IG resources and tips are in the comments below!