Last month, my blog turned 9 years old and its amazing to look back at my old posts to realised just how far I’ve came in my blogging journey. What started out as a hobby is now my career and I’m immensely proud of it. So many people scoffed me to begin with but I’ve certainly had the last laugh. I’m often asked about tips on starting a blog and my advice is always to simply start. You don’t need fancy camera equipment or expensive kit to begin with, you just need the passion to write about something that you care about and if you have that, you’ll be going into it for the right reasons. DO NOT start a blog thinking that you’re going to get lots of freebies or make lots of money because although they are things that can come with blogging, they don’t come overnight and those who are paid for a career in this field are few and far between compared to the ones who are writing day in day out for free.
If you are tempted to step into the realm of blogging then you need to be writing about something that you’re passionate about and if you’re wanting to make a career out of it then you need to be in it for the long haul. Don’t expect a massive readership overnight and a loyal following. You need to be committed to writing and positing consistently, sharing your musings on social media and honing your voice to make it attractive to readers. Blogs are started every day and yet only a handful make it past the first post. Ensure that you avoid the pitfalls all new bloggers face by ensuring that you have the essentials; passion, dedication and consistency. Once you have those, you could look to make some investments in some of these for your career as a blogger.
BRING OUT YOUR ORIGINALITY
It’s vital that you can bring something new to the blogging table. While you might want to write about travel, beauty or business, there are already a whole host of brilliant blogs that cover these bases so what makes your blog any different? The answer is YOU. Your personality and your originality are what will set you apart from other bloggers writing about similar topics. If you do insist on entering these fields, you need to come at them from a different angle. Can you write about fashion for the disabled fashionista or from a plus size perspective? Could you write convincingly about traveling for less than £50 a day? Alternatively, you could write about something entirely niche, perhaps something that you’ve studied at university and gone onto work in. Have you ever seen a blog about living in Antarctica or analysing the use of AI in climate change policy making?
By being original, you are bringing something unique to the internet for people to read. It’s important to remember that there is an audience out there for everyone so write about what you know and love and promote it well and your audience will find you. If you’re passionate about the topic that your blog is about but you struggle to get your words out in an engaging way, then creative writing classes may help you. By honing your writing craft creatively, you can alter your tone, write with more interest and learn to engage readers more. The more readers you engage, the more shares you will receive on social media and the greater the following you will develop. Blogging is a great way to boost your income too. I recently wrote about how having a side hustle is a great way to increase and diversity your income and blogging is definitely a way to do this, especially through affiliate links. If you are keen to hone your ability to attract affiliate links to boost your income, then originality is key. This can enhance your readership levels and can be vital in helping you to be able to negotiate an increase in the amount you can charge for an affiliate link in terms of the commission you’ll receive on sales.
When you blog for a living, you rely on your hardware. While you don’t need all of the fancy equipment when you’re just starting out, if you want to really make it then you need to be able to produce good quality content and that usually means investing in a good quality camera and laptop. I shoot on a Canon G7X Mark ii, a Canon 70D and an iPhone XS Max, which I got a great Cell Phone Deal on, and I write my posts on my iMac and Macbook laptop. I’ve even used the webcam on my Mac to record quick videos for my social media; my audience really engage with authentic, off the cuff content. I’d be lost without my Apple hardware so its important to me to look after it and maintain it. Thankfully, I haven’t had any major problems and if ever my Mac camera is not working, then I’ll always head to fellow blogs and forums to troubleshoot; they’ve proved really invaluable over the years!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Depending on the type of blog that you write and how you promote it, switching up your location could really help you when capturing and writing your content. Invest in travel and venturing to other places to capture images and use the location as inspiration for your posts. Tag the place when you feature it on social media to push that post out to people in that location. Its great for putting you on their radar when they’re searching Instagram by location!
Venturing into the world of blogging as a career is not for the faint hearted that’s for sure as it comes with as many lows as it does highs especially with the increase in trolling online. However, it is still possible to make a living from showing off your expertise, writing about a passion or by informing the public about a niche and it is equally as possible to enjoy blogging purely as a hobby! I hope some of my tips have helped you. If you’re looking for more information on blogging, I’ve written a post on blogging advice and tips for SEO which you might find useful.