Sunday, 8 June 2014

Blogging 101: Starting A Blog

Hello Princesses!

Today's post is going to be something a little different from the last Sunday series of swatches. This time it's going to be doing a heavily requested series, which is Blogging 101! I'm no pro at blogging and coding, but I would love to share some of my experiences with you princesses on how you can start your own blog, and how to do some of the coding, photography and photo editing!

When I first started blogging I found it really difficult to figure out the coding, or how to get things like social media buttons and I wished there was something all in one place to help me out! I had asked some bloggers that I was familiar with to give me some help or point me in the right direction, but the reply that I got was; "No sorry, I spent ages figuring it out, so you should have to too." which is SUPER selfish and irritated me to no end.

So, here's my take on starting a blog! 

Who Should Start A Blog?
Absolutely anyone who has an interest in blogging or wants to share their experiences or knowledge! You don't have to be a beauty blogger, you can create your own blog about anything you want, be it Beauty, Lifesyle, Fashion, Cooking or just a personal travel or thoughts diary.

How Do I Start A Blog?
The first thing you need to do is figure out what platform you want to start your blog on. The most popular platforms are Tumblr, Wordpress and Blogger (which my blog is hosted on) which all have positive and negative aspects attached to them. Check out this spreadsheet created by startbloggingonline who also has a lot of tips and tricks for creating your blog.
What Should I Name My Blog?
Again, anything you want! It's generally best to name your blog after whatever you're going to be blogging about, I wouldn't name my blog something to do with baking when I'm going to be blogging about beauty! It's also good to Google search the name you're after to see who else has already claimed the name, because it's hard to compete with established blogs with the same name (this doesn't mean you can't have the same name!). You can also create Email accounts, and social media accounts connected with your blog name.

Why Should I Start A Blog?
It will make you, a better you (so cheesy, I know)! It has helped my confidence online and in real life, and it has also substantially helped writing, spelling and  grammar. It's a great hobby, and it's really fulfilling when your readers tell you that you've helped them somehow, even if it's just someone saying "great review, I really enjoyed it!" or when a reader purchases something that you've recommended and loves it. It's also a fantastic way to make new friends with common interests, like my darling PANZ girls and the fantastic Makeup Obsessives group.

Why Shouldn't I Start A Blog?
Please don't start a blog just to get sent free stuff. This is actually one of the most commonly asked questions that I get, "oh did you get that for free?" "Do companies send you heaps of stuff?" and the answer is no. Companies will not send you free stuff just because you ask them, or because you have a blog.

Be aware of how much time and money it will take. When I first started blogging it would take me 9 hours to photograph, edit and write one blogpost. The more you blog, the faster you will be able to photograph edit and write your posts, but it even after almost two years and 200 posts, it will still take me between 2 hours (word posts like this one) and 6 hours (photo heavy or difficult posts) to complete posts. I blog four times a week which is considered almost full time blogging, and I blog and manage my social media from around 5pm to 12pm everyday. During the day I study full time and work two part time jobs. Blogging is a way for me to relax, but because it does take so long that I rarely have time to do anything else. It's a huge commitment, and if I don't post every day that I should I feel extremely guilty!

Blogging will also drain your paycheck if you're not careful. In the beauty blogging world there is always pressure to buy new releases, especially when the releases are so hyped up in social media! I do rely a lot of samples to fund my blogging because they are free (for the most part), and I do buy the products that I think are good and I will use, but having the free samples make it easier to keep up with current trends.

Even though this seems like a lot of negatives for blogging, it's really only two points which is time and money!

I hope you princesses have found this interesting! If you have any requests for blogging tips, leave them in the comment section below and I'll try my best to help you all out! ^.^

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