Tuesday, 2 June 2015

So you wanna start a blog? My tips for beginers

I first got into blogging in 2013 when I was seventeen years old, and first of all let me tell you that if I can set up my own blog anyone can!! Before I set up Little Piece Of Lynda, I had never read any other blogs, to be totally honest with you I didn't even know what a blog was so trust me when I say I was clueless!!
 Why would you even set up a blog you might ask? - Well to answer that question, the reason why I started my blog was on the advice of some incredible presenters/journalists who told me it was a fantastic way to get your name/face out there. 
At first I wasn't too sure about 'blogging' like what in god's name would I talk about? I was advised to have a topic, like if you're into make up your obvious move would be to have a beauty blog, fashion to have a fashion blog but what would I do?!! 
Aswell as that I'd never written anything for other people to read so the sheer idea of that freaked me out alone. The list of reasons not to start a blog were endless, the main thing opposed to the lack of common blogging knowledge was the technology. How do you even set up a blog??!!
 After finding my blogging platform I was lucky to have a whiz kid as a friend (Lauren Power) and through BBM messenger a blog was made.
So after a rocky, petrifying start I'm heading towards 50,000 hits and the opportunities I've received through  the blogging are endless. 
I've met so amazing amazing people through blogging, some people who've really helped me and became great friends to me (especially my favourite Aoibhe Devlin) and I've also had the opportunity to chat to so many interesting people which I'd never have had the opportunity to without the blog such as Laura Whitmore, Lisa Cannon, Maclean Burke etc..

Anyway, by no means am I a professional but I've been asked a few times now on how to start a blog and I've decided to write it down and try help convince a few people that blogging is the way forward. Here are my ten tips to start your very own blog:

1. Choose your platform: When starting a blog you can be bombarded with platforms (that is where you will set up your blog) there are so many different types the most popular being wordpress and blogger. I personally went with blogger as it's much easier when starting out. When you move up you can transfer to wordpress which is slightly more advanced. I will admit wordpress looks more impressive with the likes of 'JustJenBlog.com' and 'TheLiberal.ie' using wordpress but at the moment I'm happy with blogger.

 2. Have a look around: Like I said, when I went about setting up my blog I hadn't read any but as I went further I got obsessed with reading blogs. I think it's important that you decide what kind of blog you want to have, do you want to be a beauty/fashion or a lifestyle blogger like me?
The most popular blog would be beauty so you'll get a lot more coverage with beauty but by no means should you blog about something you're not interested in just for the freebies!!
You'll get bored very soon and people will eventually see through your writing.

3. Brainstorm:Like I mentioned above really think about what kind of blog you want but also think about the name of your blog. I truthfully wish I had some exciting story about the name 'Little Piece Of Lynda' but sadly I don't. I put zero thought into it and it originally started out as 'Little Bit Of Lynda' I'm happy enough about the name but think about down the line when you're established.
You'll have built up a certain name so dropping it won't be a huge success and you could lose a lot of readership.

4.  Have confidence: I think this is the main thing and something not a lot of people talk about. Blogging takes a lot of courage and you really need to believe in your ability to write. There are posts in which you'll think are brilliant and that you love but may not go down as well as hoped, you are also opening yourself to criticism so you'll eventually develop a thick skin. Just believe in yourself and your blog and when you're a confident blogger it shines through.

5. Promote yourself: Promotion is key!! You always want to promote yourself and advertise your blog. Sharing your posts across social media are a must and I don't fulfill that 100% I'm afraid to say. I will always link posts to facebook and twitter but that's it, a lot of bloggers I know will use bloglovin and things like that but for me facebook and twitter are A1.
Setting up a FB page for your blog is also great, my fb page isn't a huge success but I have over 330 likes. If you run competitions on your FB page your likes will fly up so I'm hoping to do that in the near future.
You can like my facebook page HERE 

6. It's not a walk in the park: I think something that not a lot of people know is blogging is tough man, it's definitely not all fun and games. I love blogging but trust me there are days when it's my least favourite thing on the planet. It's such a huge thing at the moment every second person you meet has a blog these days so you need to constantly try your best to stand out, you need to make it different.
You need to keep regular, if you only post 1/2 a month then you won't keep your readership so that's one thing I will say is don't start a blog unless you can fully commit. You need to have the time to concentrate on the blog but at the end of the day, it's YOUR blog! You do what feels right.

7. Trust your instincts:It's similar to the last one but if something doesn't feel right don't do it. I think something I learned a long time ago is to never put your name to something you're not proud of, as a journalist you're constantly publishing work but if it doesn't feel right then don't run with it.
For me, my blog is very personal so I really do talk about my personal life at times but I think you need to draw a line between your personal and private life. You don't have to share every detail about your Saturday night!!

8. Be realistic: Don't expect huge overnight success, every blogger dreams of being the next SoSueMe but it's not like that. You won't wake up one morning with an extra 10,000 hits, you won't get thousands of FB likes everyday. Offers aren't immediately going to be rolling in and trust me you're not going to become a millionaire straight away.

9. Don't get sucked into the blogging bubble:I think it's so easy to get obsessed with hits and getting the much as you can but try not to let that get the best of you. It's lovely to see a post you wrote being shared around and being thrilled when it's getting hundreds of hits, but what's not lovely is waiting to see your views go up.. that's really not cool.

10.HAVE FUN!!!: Finally the most important thing is to have fun with your blog! There's no need hating your blog and seeing as writing as a task. Unfortunately a few months ago I felt like blogging became a chore for me and I was constantly writing and I lost the buzz, after taking a few weeks off I couldn't have imagined how much I'd miss by baby and now I'm back and happier than ever.

I hope these ten tips have helped anyone thinking of starting their own blog, I personally can't recommend it enough as for me, blogging really has changed my life and I love it.

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