I still can't believe just a few weeks ago marked the one year anniversary of starting my cute little blog! I never imagined what this project (which was meant to be a distraction from a difficult time) has grown into, but I also can't imagine my life without it now!
There are plenty of things I absolutely love about the fact that I started a blog, but one thing I remember more than anything was the night that I started, I stayed up until almost 5 a.m. totally inspired, pouring through pinterest and google looking for advice on starting a blog. By dawn I was exhausted, a little brain-dead, but starting to feel like a bit of an expert. HA! That's cute...
In all seriousness though, I was beyond appreciative of what other bloggers had done for me in helping me to start this little creation of mine, and I feel that I owe it to all of the other future bloggers out there to do the same (to the best of my ability!)
1. The first thing you should do is find 10-25 blogs with similar concepts to what you want your blog to be. Spend time with those blogs - read them, absorb them, explore them, and comment on them. Really get to know the blogger, not just the content. It will give you a feel for how to focus the direction of your blog, but it will also help you establish how you will be bringing something new to the table. Just remember, while inspiration is by far one of the main tenets of blogging, outright copying is not the sincerest form of flattery.
2. Determine your points of inspiration. For me, hours on Pinterest, a couple monthly magazine subscriptions, and above all, people watching are an endless supply of inspiration for me. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a small detail like the a woman's shoes can transform itself into an inspired post on a trending color, or a fashion post centered around a purchase I have been considering.
3. Don't set your sights too high - I began my blog with the intention of blogging three times a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. For the most part, I keep to this schedule, although as time goes on and my blog starts to feel more like a habit than an exciting new passion, I find myself having a harder time getting inspired and staying on schedule. Start small, with something you know you can manage even during your busiest of times, and after 6 months or so you can re-evaluate as to what you can manage. In my opinion, it is much better to be consistent than frequent. (Something I still struggle with on a weekly basis!)
4. Reach out!! Blogging is not one of those, "If you write it, they will come" scenarios. You will get lost in a sea of millions of bloggers if you are too afraid to have a voice. Ashamed as I am to admit it, when I first started my blog I was worried how people would react, whether they might think it was lame or arrogant that I thought people would care what I have to say. I was so wrong - I have never gotten anything but incredible reactions to the idea that I have a blog. People are always so excited to immediately check it out, and some have even been inspired to start their own. I love knowing that I could have such an impact, and that I have been able to share such an incredible gift.
5. After a while, you will stop proofreading so much...don't. It is an awful habit of comfort, and although I am guilty from time to time, I always cringe when I see obvious typos in other people's blogs.
6. Decide before you write your first post how much of yourself you want in this blog. How many personal details are you willing to divulge? Personally, I try to refrain from ever venting about my personal life or dating life - those things are too personal for such a public forum for my opinion. At most, I make vague allusions to a recent occurrence, and then share what I learned from the experience overall. It is important to set boundaries for yourself, otherwise in times of emotion and desperation you may find yourself sharing more than you actually would have liked.
7. ALWAYS try to learn something new! My favorite thing to do each month is to go spend a few hours on Pinterest and look for a new blogging trick or writing tip to learn. There are so many little things that can make such a significant impact on improving your blog when they add up, and the amount that I have learned about graphic design, web design, and writing have been by far one of my favorite parts of blogging! (Not to mention it is amazing to mention in interviews!)
I'm by no means an expert, but I wouldn't trade any minute of time I have spent pouring into this little blog into the wee hours of the night with a glass of wine and a chick flick, venting and relaxing and distracting myself from everyday problems. If you are considering starting a blog, I wholeheartedly promise you it is not a decision you will ever regret!!
Please feel free to comment or email me with any questions or advice, I would love to help you get started!!