Top 8 Tips for New Bloggers
David and I realized that I am only a year and a half away from my 10 year anniversary of blogging! I know that is actually a ways away but it is also coming up kinda quick at the same time. And I keep thinking, how did 8.5 years fly by so fast?! I thought I would share 8 of my top tips for bloggers starting out. You can read my whole blogging story of how I started here and then more blogging tips here and here.
These 8 tips cover a little bit of everything and are tips for the girl on a budget because believe me was I on a budget when I first started out haha. It was usually me asking my sister to take my pics in exchange for something from the dollar menu at McDonalds… sooo if I can make this happen so can you!!!
1. Making Graphics : Get familiar with Adobe Illustrator so you can make your own graphics (or any website/software that you have heard of that is good for making graphics!) Graphics are a huge part of having a successful blog (at least for me it was!) because the graphics will be what is pinned and shared generating more traffic to your site. Graphic designers can be really expensive. I hired my first in house digital girl to do all my graphics, ads, etc,. Just a year ago.. So for 7.5 years I did my own. I of course didn’t know how when I first started and just watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to make graphics on Illustrator and eventually learned the basics… enough to get by and make them for my blog even if they weren’t the best or prettiest. There are things like this that you will have to invest your time into learning if you want to do this on a budget and this is a huge one that I spent hours upon hours trying to learn. It is really complicated in the beginning if you have no experience on Adobe software but keep learning and it will make sense eventually! Also wanted to add after reading some comments that the apps Unfold and Word Swag are amazing for making graphics especially for insta stories and those make it super easy! I use those as well just for insta stories but looks like some girls use them for graphics as well and that would be a lot easier!!! If you know of any other easy ways to make graphics leave suggestions in the comments for girls to read 🙂
2. Lightroom Presets : Invest in some good presets for Lightroom! Luckily so many bloggers sell their presets now for really reasonable prices — my favorites are Aspyn’s which I use most, Tessa’s from her Tezza app, Jessica Janae’s, and Heather Goodman’s! Watch youtube tutorials on how to use Lightroom or ask a photographer friend if you can watch her edit sometime. Luckily Jessica had been my friend for so long and she was so sweet to let me just watch her edit. I took a lot of mental notes and would go home and practice. Do what you have to do to learn Lightroom because this is really important for making your photos look nice.
3. Camera : Save up for a nice camera! I am not kidding when I say in college I slept on a mattress without a bed for over a year because I was saving up to buy a camera and refused to buy even a $40 bed. I was in hair school full time and donating plasma on the side and trying to get as good of tips as I could in hair school (all you get to keep is the tips) and I eventually saved enough to buy a Canon camera. Buy one that is in your budget and then save up for a nice lens. I would recommend the 24-70 or 16-35 because those are the ones we personally use most. We currently use the Canon 5d Mark iv and love it so much. Of course it is really pricey so get one that makes sense for you but do know that Canons hold their value really well and we have sold all of our past Canons for really good prices! This is such a great investment as a blogger because you will use this alllll the time. Of course iphone photos with a good preset are honestly great too so if you simply cannot afford a dslr camera, use your phone!
4. Be Yourself : Don’t try to be someone else. Find what is unique and special about you and let that shine through. One of the reasons I think my blog was able to grow was because I was never trying to be a blogger or influencer – I just wanted to share my hairstyles because I thought it was fun and the blog growing and becoming my source of income was a total by product. Do what is actually fun and exciting to you, if you do that you won’t get burnt out and you’ll be successful because people will be able to feel your authenticity. Think about what people ask you about most and what they are most curious about (for me it was always my hair and my hair extensions – which is why we started Barefoot Blonde Hair!) and maybe that can help get some ideas going.
5. Set realistic goals for yourself : This is something I am still not great at because I will set really ambitious goals and then as I get so busy with the kids and other things I fall behind. Look at your lifestyle and really figure out what goals make sense and then set goals for how many days you want to post per week. What topics you will post about, what type of content you’ll be posting, etc. then set up days where you can gather content and have enough time to hit that goal. It is really important in the beginning to be consistent even if you don’t have anyone really following yet. Stick with it!
6. Don’t let people’s opinions get to you : Especially in the beginning people might make fun you but just know that most of us had people making fun of us so you’re not alone! One day they will be asking you to promote their product on your blog 😉 Have your goal clear in your mind so you won’t get knocked down by negativity. At this point in my blogging life I really have such a clear vision of how I want this all to work out and how I want my life to work out and I am not going to let anyone’s opinion get in the way of that.
7. Have a media kit ready to send out : create a really pretty media kit that has the following info: your name, your blog, any additional social channels (along with links they can click on), your analytics, and any companies you have previously worked with. You can of course add more than this – I have a short little intro on mine about why I started, what my blog is all about, and some info on our family (how many kids I have, that I am married, we live in Arizona, etc!) Make it feel really personal and fun so the brand can get to know you. If you don’t have impressive analytics which no one does in the very beginning, or if you haven’t worked with any companies you can leave those off if you want and just have a lot of imagery that shows your talent and creativity. You want to have a lot of photos in your media kit to show them what kind of content you are able to create and it also gives people an impression of your vibes and personality! I always try to remember that most people will quickly glance at this and scan it, they might not click on your instagram links so this is why having imagery is really important because it will capture their attention and invite them to click on your links and see more. I have a photo of me next to my personal info, a pic of the family next to the info about our fam, lots of travel inspo pics, lifestyle images, braid pics, etc! This is where you sell yourself so I think this is something that would be smart to have someone design for you if you aren’t great at that! If you are sending this to say, Free People because you would love to work with them, you can customize it too and add why you love their brand, pics of you wearing their pieces, etc! You can also send this to PR companies and just let them know you are a new blogger who is available for PR giftings and would love to go to any events. As the owner of a company now I love when bloggers reach out and show them wearing our hair and show that they love our brand and want to work with us. Even if we are still a start up and might not always be able to gift to everyone that reaches out, we make a list and when we do our next round of giftings we always consider any bloggers who have reached out!
8. Not everything has to be perfect : I am sure you have heard people say its better to actually get something done than to get it done perfectly. I definitely believe this! Launch your blog knowing you can always fix it up and add fun features and tweaks as you go along. Not everything has to be 100% when you start. You can slowly add more, redesign and tweak little things, etc. Just get it up and going because you need to start somewhere.
3 Reasons to Make a Vision Board
I love walking into my office and immediately seeing my board to remind me what has inspired my goals and purpose. Currently my vision board has lots of affirmations to help me stay positive during the day because this pregnancy has had me really moody, so these have been helpful reminders.