Let me preface this post by saying that I still consider myself a new blogger. On Sunday, I reached my 6 months of blogging milestone! When I was first deciding to start a blog, I did so with the stipulation that I had to stick with it for at least 6 months. A half a year later and I still enjoy having this space as an outlet for my thoughts and passions.
In honor of my blog’s half birthday, I wanted to share some tips that I have learned (or am still learning ?) as a novice blogger. First, can we talk about this cute shirt that my sister got me for my birthday? I loved it as soon as I opened the package. I especially got a chuckle out of the hashtag aspect (because to hashtag or not to hashtag? <— that is always my question).
On to the tips:
1. Just do it (and don’t be afraid to experiment)
When starting a blog, I think that the key is to do just that. Launch it. It’s easy to be caught up in the idea that everything has to be absolutely perfect on the first day and that there needs to be a year’s worth of content already uploaded. If you wait for things to be absolutely perfect, you may never start the blog. That being said, don’t be afraid to experiment as you go. You may find that there are other layouts, blog images (Canva is my saving grace), or color schemes that better suit your needs.
2. Stick with it for at least 6 months
….especially if you spend money on the startup. Though there are free blogging platforms and themes, I decided to pay for my blog layout (Etsy!), hosting platform, and domain. To justify the cost (though it really wasn’t super expensive), I told myself that I had to commit to blogging for at least 6 months. In addition, I made that decision based on idea that it would take me 6 months to decide if blogging was something that I really wanted to do and not just a whim. It also gave me time to figure out what I liked and prevented me from getting too discourage by analytics.
3. Find your voice
The more I blog, the more confident I have gotten in sharing myself with the world (and I think it shows!). I don’t think that you have to “have” your voice when you first start out. Find it along the way! To me, blogging is a journey and I am just happy that there are some who are enjoying the ride with me.
This is definitely an area that I am still working on. I’ve noticed that the more consistent and active I am with the blog and Instagram, the better my engagement and other analytics (shocking, right?). However, in the past 6 months, life has gotten in the way. I try not to beat myself up too much about it, but I acknowledge and I am working on being more consistent.
5. Build relationships
The relationships that I have made with blogging has to be one of my favorite aspects so far. There are people that I communicate with on a regular basis that literally make my day simply because I reached out to them on social media platforms. Many of them are also bloggers and it is great to feel like there is a little supportive community. I also loveeeee when people interact with me in the blog comments or through Instagram dms. Building relationships with my readers and fellow bloggers has really made it feel like what I am doing is worth it ♥.
Blog photography can be a bit of a mission if you are not blessed with a photographer husband or mom AND have a small budget as a new blogger. Fortunately, though I do not have photography in house, I do have a sister who comes home from college and is willing to snap a few 100 pics of me. When first starting a blog, sometimes amateur photography is the most feasible approach. I try to sprinkle in professional photography when I can (shout out to Michael Ellis Photos and Amanda Lauren Photography). My biggest tip here is to be realistic about your budget and if you’re lucky, find someone who is willing to take a few pics of you on a semi regular basis. Even if you are not paying them as you would a professional photographer, try to exchange something for their services (offer to buy lunch or take some photos for them). Also, IPhone photos can turn out beautifully! Currently, I edit my IPhone pictures using the app Afterlight.
I still have plenty to learn and milestones to reach. I am still finding my voice and learning how I can be a better blogger. As a new blogger, the above tips have been essential in helping me start achieving my goals in the blogging arena. Thank you for taking part in this journey with me so far!