Do you want to become a blogger but you are unsure where to start? I have 5 pieces of advice I wish I would’ve received when I started this blogging journey officially on my own in 2015. Figuring out things yourself can be hard and will make progress a little slow and difficult. However, over time I have been able to attend several seasons of NYFW and have made blogger connections with several different people in my community and abroad. If it is possible for me it is possible for you! Here are five basic things you can do to make your journey into blogging easier!
Find Your Niche
This can be one of the most difficult parts of creating or revamping your blog. We learned in biology (or some other science class, pretty sure it was biology) that a niche is an animal’s specific position or role inside of its community. Your blog will exist in that same manner. In blog terms, it means finding a specific part of the market that you can see yourself being an expert in while providing a product or service. For example, The Strong Suit is primarily a fashion blog, but I am petite and shop for bargains and deals. As a result, I appeal to specific niches: petite fashionistas who love a good deal. It’s a specific attribute about The Strong Suit that makes me stand out from thousands of other bloggers who use their platform to talk about fashion as well. Your sense of style, lifestyle topics you focus on, or the food you eat could make your blog just a tad bit more niche-minded and special. This brings you back to your why. Why do you want to start a blog and who is your primary audience? These two questions will help you find your niche.
Buy A Domain
Now I do not know a whole bunch about self-hosting because I got my blog hosted the easiest way: through Google. I use Blogger as my platform, so originally my blog’s name URL was thestrongsuit.blogspot.com. It was like this for a few years before I bought my domain on google and hosted my blog through their platform instead. This was easy for me because Google owns Blogger and everything is pretty much connected. I didn’t have to do too much on my end. However, there are plenty of other ways to host your blog, but it is extremely important to buy your own domain. Your blog is your space that you own, you show that ownership by having your .org, .com, or .co at the end of your blog name. Look into Google or Bluehost, another popular blog host platform and see what you can find!
Make a Schedule
I am not going to lie to you, the hardest thing to accomplish during my blogging journey is to remain consistent. Being consistent will immediately put you above your peers and will grow your influence. If you master this early you will be far ahead of someone who waits until their third or fourth year to be consistent. I used school and everything else as an excuse to why I was not able to be consistent on my blog on a weekly basis. It was not until I graduated college that I realized I had all the time in the world now, but if I didn’t utilize it wisely I would find other excuses like work and chores as the reasons why I couldn’t chalk out a blog post today. I have a personal goal for my blog posts this year and I plan to get as close that goal as possible, but I had to make a schedule. I did have a few interruptions this year, I got a new job and a new apartment. I also went through a period of time where I lacked inspiration to really create anything. Coming back to my blog I had to sit down and decide how many times a week did I want to post on The Strong Suit. When would I write these posts? When would I take the pictures for the posts? What does a typical week/month look like to me? There are plenty of free resources out there that will allow you to make a content calendar for your blog posts and social media. Pinterest is always my go-to! Sit down and make a schedule for yourself and be committed!
If you follow me on Instagram then you know my Instagram handle is @Genuinely_AA. I made this Instagram handle back in the early days of Instagram and I haven’t changed it since. I’ve been advised to change it to my blog name but being genuine is something that helped create The Strong Suit from the beginning. Now one thing I can tell all bloggers new and old alike, is that not all bloggers are nice. Everyone won’t be willing to help you or answer your questions about working with brands or cute places to take pictures in your city. Unfortunately, there are some bloggers out there who believe that there’s not enough brands and sponsorships to go around and they better not even lend a helping hand, because if they do you just might steal all of their followers! After all, you can only support one blogger at a time and they must make sure they get your every like, comment, and click. Okay, that may have been a little dramatic (lol) but that really is how some people act in this industry. I’ve met bloggers with 100,000 followers who have been the sweetest people, and I’ve seen girls reach over 10,000 followers and act like they can’t speak. The latter behavior is ugly and not genuine and should not even exist in our industry but it does. However, what you can do to help your influence is to always remain genuine. Being genuine will naturally draw and audience that mimics and embodies the morals and values that you possess. The people who are nice on their blog but catty in person, will never last long in this industry because eventually their true colors will come out, so always remember that. No matter how big your blog gets, there’s always someone out there who knows the true you. You. So make sure your truest self is genuine and kind, you’ll open up your network to so many different people. Being nice (with God’s grace) has gotten me to places I could have only imagined.
If you are starting off with less than 5,000 followers be patient. Give yourself grace. It is not as easy to make $10,000 in 90 days and grow your influence to 100,000 by the end of the month like these “gurus” on Pinterest are saying. It takes dedication and persistence. It also takes being genuine and real with your audience about your different experiences, especially the touchy ones. Over time your audience and influence will grow naturally. Do not buy followers! I repeat! Do NOT buy followers, it’s a short cut that will tell on you so quick through your engagement on social media. It is easy to tell when someone has bought followers when they have a 30,000 member audience but only 50-100 likes. The numbers do not match up, even with the jacked up algorithm. So be patient and trust the process. Respond back to every comment you can and interact with your follower’s content as well. You will draw the people that are meant to be in your crew naturally to you and when you build your brand that way, no one can take them away (not even those random Instagram bot clean outs)!
I hope this helped someone out there who is looking to start a new blog or get back into blogging. This is the most general blog post I can do about this subject but I would love to dive deeper if you guys have any questions. Please let me know in the comments below and share with a friend who is thinking about blogging! It is an amazing community with amazing opportunities!