I think one of the questions I get asked most is how do you start a blog? I started blogging my sophomore year of college a couple of years back. After reading (hundreds) of blogs throughout high school and college, I felt inspired to creatively share ideas on an online platform myself. I read a lot of blogs that made me just feel inspired! And I wanted to do that too! I started screenshotting my favorite things about my favorite blogs to save in a folder. My favorite blogs consisted of bright, high-quality photos, exciting and colorful content, and lifestyle tips. I saved these screenshots and then created my blog with inspiration from these favorites.
Some people say a picture is worth a thousand words and some people say reading allows you to travel to new worlds you've never been before. I LOVE reading blogs and seeing how different people live their lives each day because it involves both pictures and stories. You get to travel to new places, meet new people and experience the world without even leaving your computer screen when you read blogs. If you have ever wanted to blog, I say stop what you are doing and START RIGHT NOW. Because each person is different and lives a different life and has different passions and sharing them via a blog means that more people get to learn more about YOU and your talents and passions. And that's exciting.
First things first:
1. Just START. I know, I know. This seems like a really silly obvious first step. But I'm serious. Just starting is the hardest part. (homework and housework is the same way. JUST START IT.) If you want to begin blogging, simply say..."at 5pm today, I am going to START blogging." and begin. First, find a blog platform. I personally use Blogger to host my blog, but Wordpress and Squarespace are other platforms. They are super easy to use and have a lot of fun backgrounds and layouts.
2. Become familiar with html: UGH. HTML is a pain in my boo-tay to be honest. A lot of people like it, I personally do not. HTML is the computer language that makes your blog pretty and allows you to have lots of plug-ins and functions for users/blog readers. It consists of lots of numbers and letters and symbols. I even took a few classes on html throughout college, which have helped me so much. But I am just not passionate about html. I like creating blog content, and not the blog part itself. This is where you either bribe people with cupcakes to help you with html and creating your blog, or you pay someone who has expertise in the area. I have done both.
3. Have NO FEAR:
So now you have a blog and you are a bit familiar with html. The next step is to start producing blog content. This is my favorite part. But also a very scary and vulnerable part. This is where you share what you are passionate about through words and pictures. I used to (and still at times...) fear that people would think I was weird for sharing what I love. I love food. I love traveling. I love coffee. I love Jesus. I love recipes. I love countries. I love cultures. I love people. I love colors. I love mornings. I love being productive. I love passionate people doing what they love to do passionately. But life is too short to live in fear of sharing yourself and your heart.
This is blog advice and life advice: DO NOT THINK ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK. Just be YOU. If people think you are weird because you shared a picture of your breakfast via social media, then that is their problem. If you love bacon and eggs and want to share your bacon and eggs on Instagram because you love bacon and eggs then BY GOLLY share it!! I believe that most people like seeing what other people are passionate about. (& if not, then maybe they are just jealous that they aren't secure enough to share what they love. #true) Have NO FEAR when it comes to sharing what you are passionate about. This is a big one, friends.
4. Just Google it.
Google, Pinterest, Facebook, other blogs.... they all hold a wealth of knowledge on how to get started and stay motivated. If you have a question about starting a blog, blog content, html, bringing in more blog traffic, SEO, photography, anything. JUST GOOGLE IT. It's free. I am joyously overwhelmed by all the knowledge and creativity I've found on the internet. It's a great resource.
5. Share, share, share. Share your content via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email. The more places you share, the more people are able to read what you have created. Ask your friends to share. Bloggers love when you share and like what they've created. Share others' content. We live in a digital world and have knowledge at our fingertips via a simple Google search and Retweet. If you like what you see, share it! Someone else might like it too! Use hashtags. Hashtags allow you to connect with people with similar interests and searches. Share, share, share and never stop learning.
6. ASK QUESTIONS
Don't be afraid to ask people questions. There are many people who know a lot about html. There are many people who know about travel recommendations and the best restaurants in certain areas. There are many bloggers who have been places you have never been before and have expertise in those areas. I have sent many emails to friends, professors, and bloggers who have helped me lots along the way. The worst thing someone say is "no, I can't help your right now." (which is rare) and that's not even a bad worst thing. Ask questions!
7. INVEST IN A GOOD CAMERA
Cameras are expensive. And when I wanted to start blogging, I knew I wanted to have beautiful high-quality pictures, but I had no money for a camera. I started entering contests. Lots of them. Baking contests, Amazon giftcard contests, and giveaways. And I started working at about the same time. I wanted a fancy camera so I worked for it. And haven't regretted that purchase once. Successful blogs usually have great quality pictures. This is the camera I use and love.
7. Keep Working On it:
There is always something you can change, work on, or add when it comes to blogging. and this is why I think I love it so much! I LOVE goals and change and new-ness. I would love to continue adding travel (!!!LOTS!!!) to my blog, more exciting content, videos, better photography, more do-it-yourself projects! All these ideas make me SO excited and I can't wait to add them and work on it more this next year!!
Have any tips, advice, questions!? Please feel free to reach out and let me know! I'm not an expert blogger (in any means!!), but I'm just doing what I love! (and Googling the rest) Would love to hear from you! Happy Saturday, friends!