I've been writing my blog now for almost 4 years. It started when I was a college student, obsessed with reading beauty and fashion blogs and watching beauty gurus on YouTube back when their subscribers digits were several figures less. I've been in love with my blog and at other times, less passionate about it. But I've learnt a lot over the year from being a clueless teenager just starting out, to understanding the industry more and what work and how to go about things.
I thought I'd share with you some of my best tips for how to get the best out of starting out. I didn't research much back in my start and was clueless to my content, focus and image. It can be daunting knowing where to start, but by following these simple steps you'll know how to get the best out of the experience.
Decide which platform you're going to use
The two main and easiest sites to use for this are Blogger and WordPress. I personally chose to use blogger as it's much easier to navigate around and use. However if you're more confident behind a keyboard then WordPress offers excellent opportunity for more personalisation if you're knowledgeable at writing code. Blogger allows you to choose your options without you having to faff around which much code at all.
Tools of the trade
You don't need the best kit out there to start a blog, I still don't have a load of top notch technology and I cope just fine. All you need is a desktop or laptop, you don't need a Mac. Then a camera, I use a digital camera rather than a DSLR as I find it easy to keep and travel with and provides the quality photographs I need without the hefty price tag. If you're just starting out, a phone with a good quality camera will work for now. You don't need Photoshop to edit your photos, I use a free online photo editor which is Ribbet.
How things looks and navigate
You don't have to have the most fantastically designed blog for it to look great. I always find that simple is better and I like to keep mine monochrome and uncluttered. I used to code my own design but rather than spending time maintaining this I purchased one from Pipdig. Loads of sites offer templates for free or a small charge that can really give your blog a more professional look. It's important that the blog is easy to navigate around and clearly set out so your readers can easily find what they're looking for, nothing is more off putting than a blog which is visually complicated.
Find your focus and make your content relevant
You can have the best design out there but without the right content on your blog, you aren't going to attract an audience who genuinely want to read what you have to say. The main thing to keep in mind with blogging is that you have to be passionate about your focus. From the beginning, I decided my blog was mainly going to be based around product reviews. However, some beauty bloggers have a wider reach such as how to posts or may go half on half with fashion. You don't have to stick to what you start with but find your comfort zone, write what comes to you naturally. Originality can play a big part here, it's hard not to look at other beauty blogs for inspiration.
Timing and consistency
This is easily my downfall when it comes to blogging. Decide how often you're going to post, whether that's once a week or every day, and do your best to stick to it. I am terrible at going through periods where I just can't sit down and think of anything I want to write, and that's fine. The best way to beat this is to prewrite posts when you're feel motivated and creative enough, so you'll never have a shortage of content to post. Some of your readers will be subscribed to your blog or follow you through social media but others don't. Therefore consistency will help you grow and maintain your audience better as they know when to come back for new posts.
Social media and growing your audience
It takes years not days to build up an audience to your blog. Even after all these years, I have a small subscriber base but get a lot of views to my blog. Social media is the best way to send people to your blog. At the least you'll need to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account solely for your blog. I'd also recommend you create a Instagram account too. Get involved on Twitter, find other beauty bloggers and engage with them. Post links to your new posts and use your hashtags effectively. The community as a whole are very supportive of each other so don't be afraid to engage yourself in conversation on social media regularly.
These are just a few pointers to get you started. The whole process is learning from trial and error so don't be afraid to change things and keep them fresh and engaging. Create something you're proud of and have confidence in yourself.