Monday, 18 January 2016

7 Things I Wish I Knew At The Beginning of This Blog


Blogging is amazing, guys. You write down whatever you feel like writing, something funny, heartfelt or honest. You take some awesome photos to go with it and you post it for people to read and appreciate. You get to chat to other lovely bloggers on Twitter and get inspiration from their brilliant posts. Honestly, I don't know why more people blog, its so therapeutic but still so productive. I've been blogging for nearly two years now and I'm learning more with every post, however as a younger blogger there are so many things that could have made my progress a lot smoother if I'd learned them earlier!

Photos are everything. A blog post is never complete without a clean, bright picture to illustrate it. People are far more likely to click on a link accompanied by a decent picture, especially on Bloglovin. Oh I wish I knew this rather than just using nothing or random stuff off Google images. I went into blogging knowing absolutely nothing about photography. I still don't know that much but I have learned everything I do know from those "6 Tips for Better Photos" posts. 

Now I actually have a routine, wait for the 5 minutes of daylight we get during winter, arrange things attractively, up the contrast and exposure, add text and finally make sure its wide enough. Seems pretty easy now but I hadn't a clue back in 2014. 

Writing is your thing, work on it. It took me way too long to figure out what kind of blog posts I was good at, hence the weird collection of posts right at the beginning, including my most popular post of all time, Kylie Jenner Street Style. .... I know ... I feel the same but apparently I didn't two years ago and its maintained its position at the top of my popular posts since then because internet people love googling those Jenner sisters. Now I think I've found the posts that make me proud and funnily enough, they are the ones where the main feature is the writing. 

Make friends. It's all very well having a Twitter account to promote your posts but you should really follow other bloggers on there to really benefit from it! This is actually pretty hard if you don't know of the community as you don't know where to start! I think I just searched #bloggers and then found one of the chats. Now though, I think its easiest to get involved in #TheGirlGang because you're sure to meet so many awesome and positive people. It takes a while but you won't regret it once you are following a fantastic group of bloggers.

Make sure your timeline is somewhere you love scrolling through by following lots and lots of brilliant people, bloggers and otherwise, this means there will always be awesome content to see when you log in. A huge bugbear of mine is when people insist on having a "good ratio", as in they make sure to only follow a certain number of people in proportion to your own followers. This is understandable when you have over a thousand followers but I don't really get it when you only have 100? It's probably explained in some memo about appearing popular and aloof that I never got!

Be creative. Favourites posts are nice and all but I didn't really come out of my comfort zone for a while because of them. Once I started trying out new ideas and taking risks in my posts, I really started taking pride in my blog. I recently made myself a rule not to post anything that I might feel a little bit embarrassed about if someone from school said that they had read it. 

Promote Promote Promote. The internet is a huge place. People won't find your new post if you don't tell them about it! It's worth signing up to Bloglovin and tweeting out your latest posts often, something I'm still rubbish at as I only post once a week nowadays and am still nervous about spamming people's feeds. Buffer is amazing for scheduling and queuing tweets and it doesn't hurt to look at your analytics. 

Read other peoples blogs. Be open to influence and read blog tips, its so helpful and you can find all the things that you like in a blog and apply them to your own. As long as you don't completely model your blog on someone else's, its awesome to take inspiration from other blogs. I like to think that I haven't lost my own style of blogging but it has developed so much to be slicker and just a lot better!

Do not worry or feel sad about progress, it's all relative. I used to get pretty hung up over "progress", how much other people's blogs had grown compared to mine. Now luckily I realise that everyone is at different points in their life when starting a blog. When I feel a bit inadequate as a blogger I have to remember that I am younger than most bloggers and many of them would have already known many of the above things when starting out. As long as you are proud of your work and you know that it is growing, no matter how slowly, there is no need to worry!

Despite all of this, I wouldn't change a single thing in my time blogging. You never know, I might have never got to this point if I hadn't written all those favourites posts or even that one about Kylie Jenner!

What would you tell yourself if you could go back to when you started blogging? 

Have a wonderful week!
Hattie xo

3 comments:

  1. Such a helpful post :) I took a lot of inspiration from your blog, and I'd tell myself to READ READ READ other blogs!! Thanks for all the advice, you're incredible <3

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  2. I love this! I know all of this now, but that doesn't mean I succeed at every point. Promoting is easier thanks to Buffer scheduling my posts. However, I still think it's key to join twitter chats. As I work in California, the chats are scheduled when I'm at work, rendering it impossible for me to join chats. On the weekends, however, I try to make it my goal to join twitter chats so that people know I actually exist :)

    Arianne | Ayre

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  3. I think the point about progress is especially important. When I started blogging I honestly didn't start it in order to "become a blogger," I started it to keep my family and friends updated about my journey when moving from the United States to Germany. For a while I was just writing for those people, but then when I started a twitter account for my blog and became more aware of the blogging community I started to compare myself to other bloggers and worry that I wasn't the "right kind of blogger" because I wasn't actively trying to get more followers and page views. I realized that I have to remember why I started the blog in the first place and not worry so much about the numbers. I write because I enjoy it, and honestly I don't want to spend all my time scheduling tweets and begging for attention from popular bloggers. If I get more followers, great! If there are some times when I feel like putting more effort into my twitter game, so be it. But I'm not going to make myself stressed or miserable over it. Blogging is just one part of my life, and sometimes other parts require more attention (like now, when I should be studying for exams! lol).

    -Danielle
    www.solongusa.blogspot.com

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