A question I get asked time and time again is if I can give tips for aspiring bloggers. I feel like I’ve written posts in the past that have touched on this but maybe not a full on post dedicated to the topic so I decided to do that today. To be honest, what frustrates me most that I hear from people over and over is that I don’t really “work” and blogging isn’t really a “real job.” For anyone who has ever had an out of the ordinary job I’m sure you’ve dealt with the same kinds of stereotypes and I’m here to say once and for all, YES I work and I work very hard.
So while I’m on this topic I also think its important to note that if anyone is wanting to start blogging with the thought that it is super easy and that you think you can make money taking photos and doing nothing well that is 100% false. And touching even more on that, you should never ever try to become a blogger if you’re solely doing it for the purpose of money. So as long as we are all on the same page here with that I’ll get to the bulk of today’s post.
Here are my 8 tips for aspiring bloggers out there.
- Own it: Bloggers are content entrepreneurs. With the presence of social media, we no longer rely on anyone to create, market and sell our content. So it is important to own your success from start to finish. It is important NOT to make any excuses for yourself. Sometimes in life we tend to make excuses for why we don’t do the things we’ve always aspired to do for example the classic, “it’s too expensive,” or “it’s too hard to get published,” and so on. Well surprise, blogging is FREE and YOU are your own boss. You choose when to post, when to create and when/how to discipline yourself. So there is no more blaming anyone for not doing your job. You have to do it all – the success and failure of all content is on you.
- Choose your niche: You’ve got to be smart. Sure you’ve got an opinion about everything, but if you really want to be taken seriously (and make blogging a commercially viable option), pick a niche and stick to it. Research it enough so that you have something interesting to say about it. For example not only was I extremely passionate about beauty/fashion but as a Licensed Esthetician I felt I had a special advantage to talk more on the topics of skin care and beauty because I actually come from a professional background in it and can offer useful advice from working in the field. Think of things you love that you feel you can contribute more to and that people will genuinely be interested in. Maybe it’s cooking, pets, travel, cars — you name it!
- Don’t spread yourself too thin: Although you will probably see most bloggers have an account on every social media platform, I’ll be the first to say it’s honestly not necessary. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is essential to be on EVERYTHING. If you don’t want to hop onto every platform, then don’t. Think about your niche and personality and pick one or two platforms that work best for you and then focus on those EXTREMELY well. For example, when it comes to fashion/beauty images are very important so I focus a lot of my time on Instagram. I’ll be honest and say I’m not a huge Twitter person and after IG Stories I’ve pretty much forgotten Snapchat altogether. Just find what works for you and use them well.
- Be yourself: With so many blogs out there about your chosen niche, how are you going to stand out? You’ve got to say something unique and be innovative. What’s the angle you can give to a story that would be different from the rest? To me, I’ve chosen to be extremely real, talk about topics that a lot of people think but don’t actually talk about. I want to be someone who is relatable and not just like “everyone else.” If you are a funny person, put that into your writing, if you offer great advice then give it to your readers. Just don’t compare yourself to others because being unique and different is what will get you far.
- Don’t stop blogging. Once you start blogging, don’t stop. I’m serious. Don’t. Even if you can only blog once a week…do it. Consistently not blogging will throw your readers off and you will inevitably lose some. At the same time, don’t think you HAVE to blog daily. If twice a week is more feasible, do that and don’t worry about it! Your readers will start to know that your blog is updated two times a week and will continue to come back for more. But think about it this way, if you had a favorite website that was always updated and then all the sudden stopped having new articles every time you logged on, eventually wouldn’t you just find a new site that IS updated and forget the old one? Well, sadly with how many blogs there are out there it is THAT easy for people to move on so don’t give them a reason to!
- Take great photos. Listen, I’m not saying you even have to hire a photographer at all. If you are in the beginning stages and can’t afford a photographer then just do a little research on your own of how to take good photos. Learn how to do a little editing — trust me, google the shit out of everything and you will learn as I did. Trust me, nothing sucks more than a blog with really awful photos and when I say that I mean photos that are fuzzy, far, grainy, washed out, etc.. You do not have to invest hundreds of dollars in a camera to get a good quality photo. Point and shoot cameras and even smartphones can seriously create gorgeous photos. I’ll be the first to tell you lighting and angles are EVERYTHING in photography. Learning how to take great photos takes time (I’m still even learning). Just remember as much as all of us love reading the content, NO ONE wants to read a post without a photo. People need pictures to break up text – it’s just a fact of life. Or so I tell myself.
- Focus on great content over numbers. I’ve talked about this a LOT in the past but I’m going to say it again because it’s super important. Every blogger wants a billion readers and millions of comments. Numbers look good and they make us feel good. But if you develop great content, people will keep coming around. Do numbers matter? They can to a certain extent. Trust me, if you are an aspiring blogger all you should really focus on is creating content that makes people want to read YOUR blog over someone else’s before stressing over numbers. And I’m going to be honest, once you START stressing about numbers, you’ll never stop so just put that thought away for the time being.
- Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. This is a tough one because we’re human beings and it’s natural to feel that competitive nature. I get a lot of messages from aspiring bloggers saying they wish their blog was like mine and I want to shake them and say “NO stop the nonsense”! Ha, it’s true but you guys — do you have any idea what my blog looked like back when I started Love, Olia? I’ve invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars on my blog to to mention hundreds of hours brainstorming, taking photos and researching how to make it better. I didn’t just wake up one day, start a blog and then become successful. Even now there are so many things I want to do but I realize it all takes time. Do I admire other bloggers? Absolutely. I am motivated by them. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even the biggest bloggers were baby bloggers at some point. Focus on YOUR blog and where you want it to go and just let everyone else be motivation for you to KICK ASS.
Moral of the story?
Blogging takes time. If you are an aspiring blogger and wanting to actually be serious about it, it truly is an investment. While it can be a lot of work, the rewards are even greater and let me tell you — even if you never make a dime from it I will be the first to say it’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done with my time and would never change it for anything. The minute blogging stops being fun is the minute I will invest time in another hobby. I don’t see it happening any time soon 😉
Love you guys.
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