Tuesday, 22 December 2015

How to Start a Blog

Before I start, I wanted to make a little disclaimer; I'm not a blogging expert in any way, shape or form, but if this can help you, then please free to read on...

As the title suggests, this post is a bit different to my usual outfit or event posts. I have often been asked how to start a blog, but this past few months I've been receiving an email almost every day asking for my hints and tips. Most people state they hope I don't mind them asking, well it's actually the exact opposite! I feel so flattered when people think I may be able to help them. That's why I thought I'd write a short post on my tips on starting your own blog. 

1) Be passionate; It doesn't matter what subject you want to blog about, as long as you are passionate about it. I chose fashion as I had always wanted to work in the Fashion Industry. When I started I didn't know what career I wanted to end up doing, I just knew I loved clothes. As it turned out, I now write about fashion and it's exactly where I should be, sometimes things just work out.
If you think you may want to concentrate on more than one subject; e.g fashion and travel, that's fine too, just ensure that you stick to a select few so your followers know what they are getting.

2) The actual blog: I use www.blogger.com. It's free and VERY simple to use. It very self explanatory, you don't need to be good with computers or coding, it's literally type text and add pictures. After a year blogging, I bought my domain name (www.fashionpanic.co.uk) but this isn't essential. I was working with brands before my domain, I just personally think it looks more professional.

3) Instagram; Without doubt, Instagram is the best way to 'get out there' with your blog. It's how I work with brands, meet new contacts and where I was spotted for my writing jobs. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to Intsgram feeds. Some people love monochrome, minimalistic themes, others love colourful haphazard photos. The one thing popular Instagram accounts have, are that they all post good quality, well thought out pictures. That does not mean you need a camera! Until last month ALL of my photos were shot on my Samsung Galaxy. It just means that the pictures are not blurry, dark, or bad quality. 

Followers; Gaining followers on IG is an essential part of getting your blog out to brands and PR. Unfortunately this can be a long process. Exactly a year ago today, I had 308 followers. It's taken me a year to get to 6.4k. To some that will seem a lot, to others, not so many. For me it's a lot, and I get to work with fantastic brands and invited to great events. There is no quick and easy way of gaining followers (although some people buy them! watch for the accounts that gain 1000s of followers in hours). The best way is to like pictures, follow accounts you like and to leave comments on pictures. 

Hashtagging: The other way to get your blog to more people is by using hashtags on social media. The best ones for IG are; #fblog #blog #blogger #fashion #instagram #potd #insta #inspiration #vscocam #vsco
These change daily, so make sure you keep an eye out for new ones!

The last tip, and to me the most important one; be nice! You will get far in life if you respect, support and be genuine with your followers (or potential followers). Don't follow people just to get a follow back. Don't comment on pictures if you don't like them. Answer questions you may get asked, and always thank people for their nice words. It takes time and effort to be successful, but if you try and stick with it, it will pay off :)

I would love to answer any more questions you may have, you can email me or leave a comment. I hope this has been of some help to you guys who are contemplating starting a blog; just do it, it can change your life!


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    Maria V.

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