So you want to start a blog?

Sunday, 26 February 2017

I started my blog in 2013 (???) and would take photos on my iPod touch and then wrote the posts on the terrible blogger app on my phone; so it's safe to say that my blog has improved almost astronomically. I don't know what made me want to start my blog, especially back then when blogs weren't even that big or influential but if you are thinking of starting now (which is a v good idea) then this post is here for youuuu. I'm going to try and make this as laid-back and easy to follow as possible and most of all realistic. I've also included bits about how I blog and what I use in case it could help those who are hesitating over joining the blog hype or even those who are already in but just want to improve etc.

my "equipment":
canon 100D
18-55mm kit lens
macbook air
iPhone 5s
twuffer

PHOTOGRAPHY:


EQUIPMENT:

I use the canon 100D camera for my photos with the standard 18-55mm lens. I'm perfectly fine with this camera and lens although you can definitely branch out and improve lenses if you want (I've heard that the 50mm lens is fab) but for now, I'm pretty happy with what I've got. You definitely do not need to use a DSLR, you can just use your phone to take photos but just make sure that you have natural light and that you do not over edit your photos otherwise they will look grainy and low quality overall. If you are looking to get a DSLR then my recommendations are: the canon 100D as it's very easy to use and much smaller and lighter than others, canon 700D as it also has a flip out screen and the nikon D7100. Although they're not the most affordable, a good camera is going to prove really useful throughout your blogging journey and it's a great investment. I don't really use a tripod but if you're into taking flatlay photos or maybe even shooting your own outfit photos then it would be a pretty sensible option.


EDITING:

I only ever take my pictures in natural light mainly because a) I can't afford studio lights and b) I genuinely prefer photos taken in natural lighting to those taken in artificial light. I hardly ever edit my photos, I just use the editing software that comes with my MacBook and tweak brightness and contrast of the photos and that's all. I tried using photoshop but I just couldn't be bothered with all the fancy settings and adjustments tbh, if I have to colour correct a photo that's the only time I'll use it. When I upload my photos onto my blog I need them to be at the largest they can be 'original size' as I personally can't stand small photos uuuuhh. When it comes to outfit posts either Ambra or my sister take them for me. As I mentioned, natural lighting is the way to go however if your time is limited (especially when it comes to short days) then do buy some soft box lighting. I know a lot of bloggers pair up with someone and buy the softboxes (which usually come as two) so they pay half the price and take on each! Also, a really quick and easy editing software to use is 'picmonkey' which is equally as useful when it comes to making your blog header. 


SOCIAL MEDIA:

My phone is crucial for when it comes to actually promoting my posts, I usually share the link on twitter a few times and post about it on my blog instagram too (@_monochromedaisies) I can never be bothered to actually do this though so it only happens when I'm on my blogging hustle. I've been using the instagram stories feature for everything blog related and I'm actually loving it. It allows you guys to see the real person behind the blog as I sometimes just talk to the camera about anything sooo yeah, go and follow to see what I'm like ;) Pinterest is a good place to start, make sure to pin some of your blog photos and link your post to grow traffic. Twitter is perhaps the most blogger friendly platform, join lots of blogger chats, make friends and share your posts! I'll leave a link to the blog chat calendar here. Every Wednesday and Sunday there's a blogger promo hour which is where you can share your posts with others and gain new readers, it's really helpful and so convenient. Also add your blog to bloglovin, it's the main platform for bloggers to publish their work and allows people to follow your blog through it being as GFC is basically dust. Another useful resource is Google Analytics which is what I use to track the statistics and numbers part of my blog. With that being said, don't stress over numbers too much (I know a lot of people say it's not all about the numbers but that's so idealistic...we are all motivated by the numbers in some way.) However do not obsess over them, remember Hitler had millions of followers but Jesus only had 12. Okay that got religious.


STARTING THE BLOG:

My blog is hosted by 'Blogger' which I find is the easiest to start with as it's so simple and practically ready to use from the start. I've still got the 'blogspot.co.uk' but I'm not really ready to invest in a proper domain and I'm thinking of a blog name change in the future anyway... i quite like the lowkey-ness of not being self hosted. For blog templates, less is more. I remember my first ever blog template was the pink ethereal template with a hideously garish header, it was so bad buuut lucky for you there are so many free templates on the internet- just download them and upload them to your blog. My current blog design is completely free, I downloaded a simple template and then edited some of the HTML to make it into what it is now. If you must buy a template then go for Etsy, you can find some really cheap ones there. Most importantly you need a design that isn't too distracting and noisy and one that is responsive, especially on mobile. Make your header simple and not too animated, add a photo of you on your sidebar along with a small description. Add an archive too so your posts can be easily navigated through and never forget an about me page and contact me page. With your about me page always try to make it as un-autobiographical as possible otherwise you'll bore everyone...and please spare us the "Welcome to my little corner of the internet" line because it's cringey and overused. Make your contact me page as straightforward as you can, brands and other bloggers visit the page to find your email address and other social media platforms they can contact you through, nothing more. 

CONTENT:

Now for the actual blog writing, arguably the most important part of a blog, I don't really do much. I never plan blog posts and hardly ever pre-write them, I just write them on the day I want to post, so I don't know how to help there. I just write in the way I think -this sounds so typical- I find a lot of blogger's say this but they all sound the same lol. There are barely any blogs that actually are totally unique to me, unfortunately. Also, please don't force it, honestly we can tell you're trying too hard through your writing- it just sounds unnatural. Always remember, do not do the most (ugh urban dictionary it) Anyway yeah I'd just say write the way you genuinely want to write, keeping everything original, and then you should be fine. 

What do I write about tho? I don't know, it's up to you mate. Your content does not have to be one dimensional, write about whatever you want. It is your blog. Don't feel like you have to have a niche, when I'm asked what I blog about I just say "I don't know" because I honestly don't and that's fine. I would give you a list of blog post ideas but they're all so generic and typical and I want to spare you from that. I think a good first post is one featuring some of your favourite photos (yours or other people's- just give credit) and then talk about why you like them. Not only will your first readers have cool photos to look at, by wrtitng about each photo you're revealing a lot about your personality, your likes and dislikes...all that stuff. Nearly forgot to mention a blogging schedule. Scrap that (I only say that because I always forget to post on my designated days) It's so stressful feeling like you have to post every ____ so just post when you want :-)

and most important of all...
mentioned this before but don't write to fit into the typical mould of what we are told a blogger should be. admittedly, I've made this mistake since I started and it's a massive regret of mine. read more about my realisation regarding 'niches' in my post here

best of luck,
Dalal 🌵              
             
                                              follow my blog on bloglovin:   Follow

10 comments :

  1. This was so helpful! Thanks for sharing your tips, I feel like us bloggers can all benefit from each other's advice.

    Check out my recent post?

    Alice x
    girlabroad.co.uk

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  2. dalal I love this - definitely helpful, for new and old bloggers! As long as you have the passion you don't need a fancy dslr or anything!

    Edie x
    thelifeofedie.com

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    Replies
    1. thankss- the bare minimum can be enough tbh

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  3. I love this, wish I had something like this when I started. I remember using that blogger app!! And it would always crash- it was horrendous lol x
    www.lexiealexandra.com

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    Replies
    1. So do I, just an easy to understand guide on how to get started. the blogger app was honestly the worst app ever ugh

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  4. Scheduling and time management is definitely a tricky one with blogging. I had every intention to still write 3 posts a week when uni started back up but I forgot how mentally draining uni is and when i am on a study break i am literally a potatoe on the couch. What energy i have left i use it to be active on social media and interact with the blogging community.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (as you can probably tell by the lateness of this reply) time management is such a difficult one for me, I always forget to post and most of the time I haven't even got a post to schedule. I honestly don't even have the energy to go onto social media anymore, let alone blog!

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  5. I wish I had started blogging earlier! It was so much easier to produce content that people would read back in the day as there were far fewer blogs to choose from. I love my Canon camera too, though I so wish it had a flip out screen!

    Steph - www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Starting early has definitely given me the time to stand on my own two feet by now and I agreeee, if only I had the social media skills I have today then I would be all set. Ah yes. mine has a touch screen but it's not a flip out one which can be so frustrating at times.

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jk
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