Emtalks | Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness and Lifestyle Blog


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Tips To Start & Grow A Blog & Things I've Learnt Along The Way Through Blogging!

blogging tips
Hello! So today I decided to write an updated blogging tips and tricks post. I wrote a blogging tips post a long long time ago and really wanted to do an updated one as my last one feels so old now! I get a lot of emails asking for blogging and social media tips so I guess I just wanted to share some of mine with you. Recently, I've done quite a few talks for students about blogging and I really wanted to put what I've been saying in these talks into writing. I personally don't think you can tell someone how to blog or how to write, a blog is you, it's your space on the internet and it's totally up to you what you do with it so this is by no means a fool-proof: do this and you'll have a perfect blog style post. No-one is perfect. My blog is far from perfect. I'm really not actually a fan of being told what to do with my own blog so instead, I guess I can tell you a few things I've learnt along the way in the hopes that they may help even one person out! Whether you're just starting out, interested in blogging or already have a blog - maybe you'll learn something new! I feel fortunate that I am now able to blog full-time as my job, but let me tell you, it may seem glamorous and easy but it really isn't. Let's discuss...

Starting A Blog: The market may seem pretty over-crowded at the moment when it comes to blogging (everyone seems to have a blog nowadays) but I don't think this is a problem or an issue. The world and the internet is a big place, there's definitely room for us all. You can try and find your niche in the over-crowded market if you wish but if you love something, so what if it's over-crowded, go for it and write about it.  The way I see it? Everyone is different and the great thing about blogging? It allows your personality to shine through so even if you and your best friend both write beauty blogs, they'll both be different because you'll both write differently as you're two different people. I started EmTalks by talking about lifestyle, (I don't know why anyone read it as it was pretty rubbish!) then moved mainly into beauty and now I'm back to just talking about anything and everything I love. I think it's so important to be true to yourself and write about what you love, you are your niche! There's only one you. I was once told that you have to find your niche to succeed in blogging and honestly, I'm so glad I didn't do that and didn't just stick to writing about one thing! I couldn't possibly do that. I love way too many things! I've asked my readers so many times: what do you like about my blog? It's nice to know that my readers like a wide range of things which is another reason why I continue writing about a variety of topics! 

Research: Make sure you're happy with your blog name, I had such a faff changing mine! I started out with 'adayinthelifeofems' which personally I found was way too long winded. The beauty of the online world though is even if you really don't like your blog name, you can easily change it. I decided on the name Emtalks (but I was stuck between Emtalks and EmSays for quite some time!) and then just bought my domain and I was ready to go! If you choose a name you like in the first place though, you can save all that hassle though! In all honesty, I only started my blog to get onto my degree, I never in my wildest dreams imagined or even knew that blogging would become my full time job. I actually didn't even know that you could blog full time but I just fell into it. As much as I made mistakes when starting out (my content wasn't the best, my imagery wasn't either), I'm so glad that I just accidentally fell into blogging and learnt everything myself.

Setting Up Your Blog: A question which I'm usually asked is, what platform should I start my blog on? It's silly really but I think I just googled 'start a blog' and then Blogspot was the first one that came up. I still to this day blog from blogspot.com, even though most people tend to prefer WordPress. Blogspot is better known as Blogger and personally, I know how to use it, I've been using it for years and therefore, I'm a little scared to change. I find it really user-friendly, it works for me but people prefer the functionality of Wordpress - it's up to you which one you go for (there are loads of other options too online but these are the main two). Play around with them and see what works for you! Layout wise, I've never really paid anyone to do anything with my blog layout, I chose a simple template and then edited parts of it myself. I think both Blogger and WordPress are user friendly and quite easy to play around with when it comes to layouts. I'm currently looking at completely redesigning my blog but it's a long process and finding the right person to do it (one who wont break the bank) is proving difficult at the moment so if you have any basic HTML skills and know how to play around with layouts, keep it simple and you'll be able to keep the costs down and find something that works for you.

Money: You don’t need a lot of money to set up a blog, I started mine with a free, basic layout, an iphone camera (yup, I used to iphone for the first year!) 

Tell The World About Your Blog! Once you're all set up, you can tell people you exist (if you want of course!) Some people prefer to remain anonymous but I just went for it and told people I had a blog straight away. For me, I used Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to tell people about my blog. You can also use Bloglovin to follow people too.  

Bloglovin isn't something I've really ever got to grips with (I was so late at getting it too), I follow a few people on there but for me, I just read blogs I like naturally anyway and don't really need a feed to see those blogs. Bloglovin is good though if you do want a kind of Facebook timeline feed with all your favourite bloggers new posts on, I know so many people love it. I just need to get into it more. You can follow me here though and it means you'll get updates every time I do a new blog post! 

Communicate Online! I really would recommend talking to other bloggers on Twitter (hashtags like #bbloggers for example) and commenting on blogs you love. Some of my best friends are bloggers now thanks to social media! For example, I went to Ibiza with a group of some of my favourite blogger girlies most of whom I now class as 'real life friends'. You can read about that trip here.

Meet Others! Meeting like-minded people is a really great way to find out blogging tips and tricks. As mentioned, some of my best friends are bloggers and we met through blogging! It's amazing because we can share knowledge/problems/exciting news and we just 'get each other' I guess!

Instagram - Instagram is essentially a new microblogging platform - it's crazy how many people just had Instagram accounts and now they've grown huge blogs through them. I love Instagram, it's like a quick snippet of you day! You can follow me @emshelx - www.instagram.com/emshelx

Snapchat: Snapchat is one of my favourite forms of social media at the moment (you can find me with the username emshelx) as it's basically like live blogging and vlogging but it's unedited so you get to see the real person behind the blog! It's a great way to actually speak to people and send quick images. 

Pinterest: Pinterest is hands down the most addictive thing ever but it's a great tool for sharing your photos and blog posts. Not only this, but it's also a great tool for finding new blogs to follow and also finding photography inspiration, style inspiration and more!  You can find me here.

Photography: People are expecting 'better quality' from bloggers nowadays. With people like Kayture leading the way with her amazing editorial style content, it's amazing to see the kind of content that bloggers are creating. Investing in a good camera is a good idea but it isn't a neccessity - as far as I see it, if you write about what you love, your audience will find you. I love to look at nice images but the blogs that really win my heart are the ones with a great personality behind them, the words and images work together for me.

Just Play Around: Don't worry if you make mistakes, we're all human. Blogging is a big thing, it takes up a lot of time, it isn't something you learn over night but hey, if I can start a blog then you can too! Just play around, don't take it too seriously, don't worry - play with different cameras, play with different editing apps, play with different platforms. You'll naturally find what works best for you!

It's Not Easy: Blogging really isn't easy, it takes a lot of time and commitment. I actually get a lot of emails from people saying: I want to do blogging as my job. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy. As I mentioned, it really is something I just accidentally fell into! I tend to take photos in bulk, sometimes write posts in bulk or sometimes just write them when the inspiration comes to me - I hate writing posts when I'm not in the mood or in the zone. I like to produce the best content I can at all times so if I'm not in the mood to write a post, I just won't write one, simple as! But there are things you can do like scheduling tweets, pre-editing Instagram photos, writing in bulk and scheduling posts. Again, you'll learn what works for you! Don't forget, as a blogger, you are the editor, photographer, writer, creative mind - literally, everything rolled into one. It is tiring, stressful at times and difficult but I would not change it for the world. It's also extremely time consuming which is why you've really got to love it!

Be You: Mainly, just be you! Write about what you want, when you want, there are no rules when it comes to blogging and that's the beauty of it!

Do you have any blogging tips? Have you started a blog/want to start a blog? What do you look for in a blog? Have you learnt anything along the way?

Lastly, let me know what you like about my blog/if there's anything you'd like to see more of! I'd love to hear!

Lots of love, Em x

 Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin! to stay up to date with my posts!
 I would also love it if you could subscribe to me on YouTube here!

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