How To Start (And Keep) A Blog
So now that we are quickly approaching the new year you have probably begun thinking of a couple of new year's resolutions that you are determined to get accomplished in 2017. I proved to myself this year that resolutions are actually possible to fulfill (with the exception of getting a driver's license, I never bothered to even take classes but that is a whole separate post). I constantly get asked how I started my blog and what resources did I use in order to keep it going and thought what better time to share all of these tips and tricks then right before a fresh new year. Before we get started, I want to point out that building and running a blog is not easy! It requires a lot of hard work, so make sure that this is something you absolutely want to do. Most importantly, have fun and be excited.
1. Figure Out Your Niche
What kind of blog do you want to put out into the world? Whether it is beauty, fashion, travel or an overall lifestyle blog you want to have the main focus and build around that. For example, my blog is a lifestyle blog with a concentration on beauty. Makeup and skincare are passions of mine and are the reason that I started this blog in the first place but do not encompass my entire personality/interests hence why I have this life blog up as well. (Which is why I am able to share this post without confusing the audience.) Your niche market is the audience that you primarily want to cater too, and it is crucial that you figure this out in the beginning stages of planning a blog in order to figure out the style of your content and overall theme. Search the internet for blogs that cater to your interests, find inspiration and think of what you would do to make it your own. (Your niche market and overall blogging style may change with time, and this is completely okay)
2. Find a Website Publisher (Hosting Platform)
You figured out the audience you would like to cater to, now it's time to figure out how to build your website. Most of us aren't web developers but fortunately for all of us (myself included), there are a ton of website publishers that give you easy access to templates that you can also customize to your own style and taste. My blog is powered by Squarespace, and I have had an amazing experience building and continually changing it with ease. Other popular website publishing sites are Wix.com, Wordpress, GoDaddy among many others.
3. Name Your Blog
You officially have a blog, but what are you going to name it? Some people will have figured out the name while figuring out their niche but unfortunately I wasn't one of them. I struggled so much with the name of my blog because I felt that as a beauty blogger I had to add a "Beautyby", "Makeupby" or "MUA" to the name as it seemed to be the standard in the beauty social media world. I ended up sticking with "Vicmram.com" because it was my username on all social media platforms and everyone knew me as "Vicmram", so it fit perfectly. No matter what the name of your blog is, be sure to make it a part of your identity. Have a story behind the name! For example, Lifestyle blogger Marianna Hewitt's blog is "Life With ME", the "ME" standing for her first and middle name Marianna Elizabeth. Little details like that will add meaning to the name. The reason my social media username for all platforms is "Vicmram", is because it is a shortened version of my first, middle and last name which is Victor Manuel Ramos. (I think it's crazy that not many people have figured this out!)
4. Build Your Blog and Begin Posting
It's time for the fun stuff, building your blog. Will your blog be clean cut and elegant, fun and quirky or a little bit of everything in between? Your blog should reflect your personality and also be mindful of the niche audience you want to attract. My blog was initially pink and black but as I grew a sense of my ideal brand identity I continuously changed it and am in love with what it looks like today. Your blog does not have to stay looking one way forever, the beauty of having a blog is that you call the shots! Bring that vision into reality and everything else will fall into place. Plan those posts, and publish them. (Oh my goodness, you're officially a blogger)
5. Be Consistent
Consistency is key to anything! Your blog may not attract thousands of readers in the first couple of months, nor will it be perfect, but practice makes perfect and there is no way to practice without being consistent. I had an extremely hard time with consistency in all of my social media outlets including my blog and have made it a mission to stay consistent in 2017! (So we will be going on this journey together) The key to consistency is discipline. Treat your blog as a job. Set deadlines for yourself and you will see that not only will you post content frequently, you will keep readers interested and attract new readers along the way.
6. Have Fun & Engage With Your Readers
Have fun with your posts. Experiment with your writing style, image choices, expand your content to video and engage with your audience. Your readers/viewers are the primary messengers of your blog or any social platform, to others. Be sure to keep them updated, produce content based on what they have expressed interest in and answer their questions. If they took the time to acknowledge whatever content you have published whether it be an Instagram post, a Youtube video etc., be sure to show your appreciation! What better way to give thanks than to make them a part of the process and selection of your content.
7. Invest In Yourself
Blog, check. Consistent posting, check. An engaged audience, check. Now it's time to invest in yourself. Buy a high-quality camera, invest in backdrops etc. with the goal of creating visually appealing content that will entice your audience to come back. Growth is essential to keeping your audience interested and high-quality content will give off a professional appearance. The packaging is just as important as the product!
So are you ready to become the next beauty, fashion, health, fitness, food, travel, lifestyle (the list can go on forever) blogger? It's tons of hard work, late nights, and writer's block but it all pays off. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing that by sharing your knowledge, you have helped countless others in more ways than one. This is why I will continue to share my passion with all of you. I can't thank you enough for your support and will return all of that support in whatever way possible. What are you waiting for? Lets get started!