How to Start Your Blog

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Often times I get emails asking for tips and tricks regarding the whole blogging deal. Heck, my friends from high school and college reach out to me often and ask me what they need to know in order to take the plunge. I’ve sent quite a few emails to personal friends, family and strangers regarding specifics and it’s really awesome to see that a lot of people want to blog and share their passion with like minded people throughout the world. There is no better way to get your message across than tackling the social media spectrum. Today I thought it would be nice if I put all of that information in one detailed post that you can share with friends who are considering starting a blog. I hope it helps at least one person feel more comfortable about committing some of their free time to blogging.

Blogging is the best decision I’ve ever made.


Choose a platform. I started with Blogger in January of 2013 and the reason I haven’t strayed is because it’s easy to use and there’s absolutely no fuss. In the “blogging world” it is frowned upon to have Blogger if you’re serious about professional blogging, but I’ve had the mindset that I can’t be bothered with that kind of thinking. I stick with Blogger because it easily lets me do everything I have wanted to do. Sure it may have more restrictions on design and functionality but if you find the right developers 90% of the functionality is available in Blogger. In WordPress, you can do more with adding widgets, colors, fonts, etc but widgets break and my WordPress blogger gals have way more issues with their site than I ever have. 

Find the right camera. One of the most important parts of blogging is the photos you use in your post. You want your images to be large and good quality so you’ll likely need a camera with a plethora of settings. I take most of my pictures with my iPhone 6+ but I have a Canon Rebel T5i which I also use for photos nowadays. I also use my Canon G7x if I’m traveling and on the go. Either way, you need to find a good quality camera that you can use consistently for your blog photos.

Canon EOS Rebel T5i

Lens: Canon 18-55mm STM

Canon PowerShot G7 X Digital Camera

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Lighting. This is probably one of the most important things about blogging because images are key. Some readers don’t really even read your content and they want to see beautiful photography of the items you’re reviewing. A picture is worth a thousand words has never been truer in this day and age. If there’s something pretty in your photo, people are more likely to stop what they’re doing to enjoy (possibly buy) the photo. The lighting needs to be excellent so the quality of your photos is unforgettable and your readers come back wanting more. You can take a lot of great photos with iPhones but it must be in natural light (outside) or reasonably good lighting indoors (with fluorescent lighting.)

Neewer Camera Photo/Video Ring Fluorescent Flash Light

LimoStudio Softbox Light Lighting Kit 

Choose a unique name. If you have a unique name (@adaatude was mine) you can have all of your social media at the same handle + you can buy that domain from GoDaddy. Having URLs at .blogspot or .wordpress is considered unprofessional and detracts from the the authenticity of your brand. It’s important to pick a relevant URL from the get-go because you have to commit to it for at least a year and it’s in your best interest to pick one for the long haul (SEO reasons) so Google doesn’t have to re-index your blog posts to a new URL down the road.

Create good content. This is the most important thing when it comes to blogging. When I think of writing a post, I ask myself “How will this benefit others? Will my readers get something out of this?” If the benefit is hard to find, then perhaps the idea needs a bit of rethinking in order to have a benefit to those taking the time to read. I also think it’s important to be creative and unique. Come up with your own ideas. Everyone does monthly favorites nowadays. Take your own spin on the concept and make it your own. Be different, because that is the only way to stand out.

Get Inspired. It’s true that if you’re not passionate and inspired by what you’re writing about, it will show through the words you are writing. A great post to refer to in terms of inspiration is from my girl Victoria, which you can read here. I don’t stick to a blog schedule because I let myself be inspired by the things I choose to write about, and I don’t want a schedule constricting me to that.

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Do your best. I am not a fashion blogger, by any stretch of imagination. But I do my best and my boyfriend does his best taking photos of me. It’s not my niche per say, but I include it from time to time because I do like to share what I’m wearing and a picture of me is needed on my feed from time to time to put a face to a name.

Share on social media. After you’ve created all the social handles you plan to create for your blog, make sure to share your posts on those social channels. Use relevant hashtags that will help your content be found. I can’t explain how important social sharing is if you want your blog post to be read and even more, you want readers to purchase something or take an action. Use social to your advantage. 

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Be the first. I always want to review the latest and greatest BEFORE everyone and their mothers have reviewed it online. It will help SEO-wise (search engine optimization) to be the top (or one of the only) results when it comes to reviewing a new product launch. The latest and greatest now is that Jaclyn Hill X Becca Cosmetics collection, so if you wanted to be ahead of it you would’ve blogged about it as soon as you had the product in your hands. This also means you need to get your hands on those products as soon as it’s possible, which means staying engaged and updated on launch dates. If you’re an extremely connected blogger, some of these brands will send you their latest products before their consumer launch which gives you time to get your review up before the crowds.

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Be relatable. Don’t be the blogger, YouTuber, social influencer that people feel they can’t relate to or understand. If you’re always buying $5,000 handbags, it may be hard for a wide spectrum of people to relate to you. $5,000 on a handbag is not real life. 1-2% of the world can afford that kind of luxury. If your goal is to be in a luxury niche, THEN be all means show your followers the luxe things in life but make sure that whatever your main niche and avenue for content, you are relatable to the people who would follow your stories.

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Take Excellent Flat-lays. A good flat-lay is a big deal especially since Instagram is the biggest social media platform, especially for bloggers. It’s one of the best ways to get multiple products into one photo and set an ambience. If you’re heading on a beach vacation, show your followers how and specifically what you pack. A flat-lay is perfect for Instagram, Pinterest and even WeHeartIt or Tumblr. This also helps us see a group of items in one photo, and there’s something so picture-esque and clean about a good flat-lay.

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Monetize. Once you’ve got a steady following (and only then) you can engage in monetization of your blog. This means signing up with marketing agencies and taking brand sponsored opportunities to earn some income. You can also sell ad placement in the sidebar of your blog, use commissionable links in your post, etc. I have so much to say about this so let me know if you’d like an entire post dedicated to monetizing.

Don’t get discouraged and don’t compare. The most important thing I’ve learned is not to compare yourself to other bloggers and then to coincide with that, don’t get discouraged. I started my blog January of 2013 so I’ve been doing this for over three (3) years at this point. There are girls who started their blogs less than a year ago who have found more followers and more pageviews in one year, than I have in the past three. It’s not good to compare in this industry, and it doesn’t matter because remember “her success is your success too.” We should all support each other because it’s not easy putting ourselves out there on the worldwide web. Don’t be jealous. Don’t be nasty in comments. Don’t be passive aggressive. Just be positive. Show people why they should follow you and what you have to offer that will add joy and benefit to their life. We all want to be successful, but you must remember to be grateful that you have another day on this earth as not everyone is so lucky. Enjoy another day to blog about your likes, aspirations, that cute new cold shoulder top. Just be grateful and keep blogging. 


What are your blogging tips? Make sure to share with us in the comments below!

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Helpful Resources

How I Work with Brands

This is Totally Instagram Worthy

How to Start a Blog Today

How to Get Inspiration for Blog Posts

Blogging Resources

Instagram Lessons

Top 10 Blog Tips 

How to Blog and Vlog: Tips and Tricks (playlist)

My Thoughts on Social Media

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