Today’s post is inspired by my friend Claire who has mentioned wanting to start a blog. I thought this may be of use to anyone thinking about starting their own, or even to current bloggers. I love reading these types of posts.
Disclaimer-this is my own advice, you may not agree with it and certainly do not have to follow it but if it’s useful to you or you want to tell me you agree or disagree with any of the points, do comment and tell me.
1) You don’t HAVE to only blog about beauty. When I started Inside Laura’s Head I thought I wanted to be a beauty blogger. I felt like I didn’t know enough about anything else to blog on it. Then, a few months in, I got bored of just talking about makeup and skincare. I started reading Lifestyle blogs and realised that, although the bloggers I read are ace, they aren’t always experts on a subject either-they just have an opinion. As long as you have an opinion and can read up on something when you need to, you can blog on whatever you like. There’s nothing to wrong with just wanting to be a Beauty Blogger, by the way-it’s just not me.
2) Blogging doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can blog about your trip to your local city just as well as you can about a month in Cuba. Your Primark haul is just as good as any Selfridges splurge. Blog to your budget, not what you wish you could afford.
3) You can’t always write original content. A lot of people think that unless your post is 100% new and unique, you are copying someone else. Well, not me. If you are nicking someone else’s photos or copying and pasting chunks of their text then yes, that’s out of order-but if you’ve seen someone’s post and it’s inspired you, then get your own take on it written and posted. Maybe even tell the other blogger-‘I loved your post on X so I wrote my own’. That’s so flattering.
4) You don’t have to use a white background for your photos. Unless you want to, that is. There is NOTHING wrong with all your photos being taken in your bathtub, looking the same. Blogs with photos like that look great in my opinion. BUT, so do blogs who try different things in their photos. I love my pug bedding as a background and I adored my ‘An EOS Easter‘ post’s photos. Just be you.
5) People don’t just find your blog by magic. You need to put work in to promoting your blog. Nothing wrong with asking your friends and family to follow you-if you are comfortable doing that-but if you’re wanting to grow you’ll need others too. Try using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest to promote your posts. I’ll be doing posts on how I do this in the coming weeks.
6) You don’t need an expensive camera. I DO want to buy myself a nice camera, eventually. But for now I use my iPhone camera for my photos-and I’ve got no complaints about the quality of these.
7) You can’t get blogging wrong. Your blog is YOURS and you should run it how YOU want to. There’s nothing wrong with reading people’s posts giving advice and thinking ooh I want to do that. That’s fine, go right ahead. But if you don’t like what someone is suggesting-don’t do it. Run your own blog how you like and don’t listen to anyone who is telling you it’s wrong. No one but me knows how to run Inside Laura’s Head-I don’t let them tell me that they do.
8) Blogging is not quick or easy. Well, it can be. Some of my posts, like Outfit Of The Day posts, don’t take me very long. Maybe 20 minutes tops, once I’ve taken the photos. But unless I wanted to do those every day (and trust me, you’d soon be bored of them!) I find I have to spend a lot of time on blogging to get a decent post. This one, for example, I’ve been working on for about a week-on and off, not non stop-that would be ridiculous! First of all I drafted my main points onto paper, taking about 10 minutes. Then I made some notes of what I wanted the beginning and end to look like. I then worked out where in my schedule I’d post it, and typed up this draft-taking perhaps a total of two hours, over a week. But that’s ONE post, and I aim for one per day. And that’s just posting a post, let alone promoting it.
9) It’s okay to take a step back from your blog when you need to. I suffer from anxiety. I also work hard during the day and am often tired and feeling down. Frequently I don’t post for a few days. Nothing bad happens. Yes, my page views go down and yes, I don’t tend to get many new followers on those days. But my blog is still here and I pick up right where I left off. If you need a break, let yourself have one. It’s okay.
10) Blogs can be deleted. Inside Laura’s Head is my third blog. It’s the first one I am actually proud of and the only one you’ll find if you search. Because when I realised I didn’t like the other two, I deleted them. Don’t worry too much if you hate your newly created blog-just delete and start again.
I hope my learnings have been useful to you. Blogging is a journey, you will not get to where you want overnight and if where you want to be is stood next to Zoella at events, chances are you will never get there. You will, however, meet some lovely people, learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would, and become very proud of your little corner of the Internet. I’d recommend that anyone who fancies starting up a blog does it-I don’t think you will regret it.