I have noticed from the comments that some of you have mentioned that you were thinking of, or planned to, or were intending to start your own blog or beauty blog. I also often receive emails asking about how to get started. Well, I thought it would be useful to give you 6 quick tips to get you started and on your way :)
If you already have a blog, how did you get started and were you inspired to start one? If you don’t have one, have you thought about starting one? If you have, but aren’t sure how to start, these are for you ;)
1. Don’t just think it, do it! Open a blogging account today!
DO fire up blogger.com or wordpress.com and book your space on the internet. We discussed tips for picking domain and blog names before this so take read and see what others are saying in the comments. Remember, MWS readers are a goldmine of info :) I started blogging on blogger.com before moving to a self-hosted WordPress platform 6 years ago. I personally prefer WordPress as a blogging platform, but that’s only because I’ve been using it for so long. However, on the free platforms, I believe wordpress.com has more restrictions. So I usually direct new bloggers to blogger.com (That said, I haven’t blogged on either in years so please take my advice with a pinch of salt. If in doubt, just open an account on both and see which you feel more comfortable with.)
DON’T be inactive. If you want something, do it. Sitting around isn’t going to get your blog up and running.
2. Blog in a language and style you’re comfortable with
DO blog in a language and style you’re comfortable using. Most blogs are written in English because its more widely used than other languages but if you feel comfortable writing in Mandarin or Malay or Spanish, go right ahead. There will be someone reading in that language, somewhere. The world is very large.
DON’T try to be someone you are not. Bombastic or pretentious language can get you into all sorts of linguistic potholes. Keep it simple and the odds of going wrong will be lowered, and you get your message across more clearly. People want something easy to read on the internet, so keep away that thesaurus. (But do keep your dictionary handy!)
3. Use a camera and clear photographs
DO take clear, sharp, in focus photographs. If you prefer to go for a whimsical, heavily filtered style by all means do so but filtered does not mean blurry and out of focus. If you want to show swatches please colour correct to the best of your ability. Filters are NOT your friends here. We’ve discussed photography here (bloggers’ tips) and here (my tips) and they are a good read. You do not need an expensive camera to start out. If you have a point and shoot, use that or there’s always your mobile phone!
Yes, DON’T be afraid to use your mobile phone camera. I’ve seen some blogs built around Instagram photos or just using the camera from their mobile phone. Unlike say, 3 years ago, these days, most mobile phone cameras have good resolution, and there are many free photo editing programmes available. If you are still unsure of whether you want to invest in a camera, your mobile phone will work in the interim until you get your footing and decide.
4. Open and maintain a social media account
DO register at least with Twitter and/or Facebook. If your mobile phone can support the Instagram app, use it. I’ve noticed that some people get more activity on Instagram than on other social media profiles. Do use your social media profile to interact with other bloggers or readers. I prefer Twitter because of the conversational feel and because you can get answers to questions quite quickly there. I use Facebook primarily for bulletins and my Instagram feed is my pictorial view on the world – mostly what’s on my plate or what’s on my beauty shelf. Except for the Facebook page which is related to the blog, my Twitter and IG profiles are of me the person, not me the blog. I like the separation because I don’t want to maintain that many different profiles. Its up to you how you want to set up your social media profile. We’ve previously talked about social media profiles and how to use them so its worth taking a look to see if it helps you.
DON’T spam. If on Twitter, its quite reasonable to remind people through the day of your new posts, but not every hour and certainly not 5 times within the hour or within 15 minutes. Major major peeve of mine.
5. Do plan a consistent blogging schedule
DO blog regularly and consistently. This is important when you’re starting out, and its important to keep your blog relevant in Google searches. Interpreting Google search alogrithms can be very complicated but suffice to say that consistent updates will get you somewhere and inconsistent updates won’t. Blogging consistently does not mean blogging daily. Its natural to want to blog everyday or every hour of the day when starting out, because you just have SO MUCH to say! Its all brand new to you after all. But if you do that, it’ll be easy to burn out. So, I suggest starting out with posts 2-3 times a week. Build it up to alternate days if you feel up to it and once you get the hang of it, blog every day if you want. Having a schedule helps a lot to keep you on track
DON’T be too ambitious. No, I’m serious. Its easy to want to fill up as much as you can on your blog but you’ll quickly find your subject matter petering out as you go. You want to be the tortoise – slow and steady – and not the hare – fast off the blocks and burn out quickly.
6. Sign up and install a stats counter or analytics
DO sign up and install a stats counter on your site when you start. Its useful for a number of reasons. First, it’ll show you how well you’re growing as the graph crawls upwards and that’s encouraging. Second, it’ll show you if something goes wrong with your blog e.g. if it becomes inaccessible for any reason resulting in a sudden drop in daily stats. I personally use Statcounter and Google Analytics, both of which are free. The former is very easy to read and understand.
DON’T get stats-obsessed. Oh you will, trust me. Its exciting watching the numbers grow as you go, and you’ll be sitting there hitting the refresh button every few minutes to see how you’re doing. Been there, done that, trying not to do it again and not quite succeeding ;)
Now that you’ve set up your blog and are on your way with your first post, DO enjoy your blogging experience and the wonderful world it opens up and DON’T forget to have fun! Oh and DO also check out these 12 more tips for helping you on your way once you get #1 here sorted out ;)
I hope these tips have helped you get started, if you’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog. Please feel free to ask questions along the way, and we could have Part 2 of what happens now that you have a blog :P
If you blog, just how did you get started with your beauty blog or your blog? Were you inspired by anyone?
I started out on a multi-topic personal-ish blog way back, talked too much about beauty on it, decided to set up a blog to just focus on beauty and its peripheral discussions, et voila! The rest, as they say, is history :D
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.