Friday, 3 August 2018

The Blogging Guide

This post has definitely been a long time coming and I always told myself I'd do it one day and I guess today is that day. I'm going to share my blogging tips with ye that are perfect if you're someone starting off or have been doing it for years and want to hear some of my nuggets of wisdom. I am by no means saying I'm writing this because I'm so great and successful because this certainly isn't a guide to succeed or gain followers. This is just some knowledge I have after spending more than four years in this industry. I've split all my thoughts and tips into three sections so let's get into it. 
Communicate with your followers as well as fellow bloggers to create relationships with them. Reply to your comments and dms, chat to other bloggers and engage with their content. 
Communicate your love for the subject you blog about whether that is fashion, beauty, lifestyle, cooking, you name it. When someone loves talking about something it can come across so easily and naturally. Make sure whatever you write that you get your points across clearly that you want to communicate, have a purpose to what you write and make sure your reader can see that, especially when it comes to blogposts. 
Let your audience communicate with you, use social media and set up an email for your blog. Have these linked on your blog so people can easily contact and follow you. There is nothing worse than finding a blog you love and not being able to find the person on social media to follow. 
Although social media is definitely your best way to find others and get the word out about new blogposts, remember that your blog is your main platform and don't forget to put as much effort into it as you would your social media platforms as sometimes it can fall to the side with so much emphasis on social media. As someone once said (I really can't remember who said it and really want to give them credit because it's great advice) but remember that your blog is the sun and social media are the planets surrounding it, so focus on the sun and planets will spin around themselves. 

Use What You Have
When it comes to 'equipment' use what you already have. I used an iPod Touch for years to take photos (granted they weren't the best quality but they did the job) then it was an iPhone and then I finally invested in my Nikon camera. Whatever you use to take photos make sure to use natural lighting because that is always going to make your photos looking ten times better. Never feel pressured that you need certain technology to be able to blog, all you need is some form of photo taking device and access to the internet, don't feel pressured into buying fancy cameras and lights etc etc use what you have.
The same goes for makeup and clothes if you're blogging about beauty and fashion, blog about the clothes you already own and makeup looks you've created using a palette you own and love. Don't go buying new clothes and the new launches of makeup just for the sole purpose of a blogpost to Instagram, especially when you're young and probably don't have a steady income.
 Of course buy something if you want to and know you'll wear it but don't think to yourself I'll get that just to do a blogpost because it's new or a popular trend. Yes it might be a great post and yes it might get great views but it's a waste of your money if it's going to be sitting around. I definitely fell into this trap buying makeup I didn't need or clothes I'd only wear once because I thought oh that would make a great post, use what you have. 
After a while I did start investing money into my blog by buying a domain ( instead of as I started my blog on Blogger) which costs me around €35 a year because I knew it wasn't just a hobby I was going to do over the summer I knew it was something I wanted to do for the foreseeable future. I also bought a blog design on PipDig which was around €30 and was a once off payment. These are just add ons and things you can think about investing in in the future but definitely not necessary at all. 
No Pressure 
This is maybe the most important one when you're getting into it, don't put pressure on yourself, whether that is the amount you're posting or the persona you're creating. Be yourself with everything you're posting because there's no point being someone you're not. Always think quality over quantity when it comes to posting, be consistent but don't be afraid to take a break. Remember that life comes first because this isn't your full time job. 
Don't worry about the numbers, of course you're going to have thoughts in your head about them and comparing yours to others which is completely normal, but try not to get caught up with them. Look up to others but don't compare, forget about others and focus on what you do. There will be ups and downs when it comes to everything but I promise it's all worth it. 
Also, definitely don't go into it thinking it's going to be so easy getting so much free stuff and going to events, it doesn't work like that. Unfortunately it means a lot of work, effort and time to get to that point but if you truly love what you're doing it will all come with time and hard work. 

So there we have it, my guide to blogging with some tips, tricks and thoughts I've learned over the years. I hope this was useful to any fellow bloggers or anyone wanting to start one,
Ailbhe x