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!!!

 

What I Wore : Hat | Denim Jacket (similar here & here)
| Jumpsuit (similar) | Sandals 

All About Blogging : Q&A
Amber Fillerup wearing a hat and denim in Arizona for her post on the top 8 tips for new bloggers.
Amber Fillerup wearing a hat, floral black jumpsuit and denim jacket in Arizona for her post on the top 8 tips for new bloggers. Barefoot Blonde / Amber Fillerup

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.

Amber Fillerup wearing a hat, floral black jumpsuit, blue sandals and a denim jacket in Arizona for her post on the top 8 tips for new bloggers. Barefoot Blonde / Amber Fillerup
Amber Fillerup wearing a hat, floral black jumpsuit and denim jacket in Arizona for this post on the top 8 tips for new bloggers. Barefoot Blonde / Amber Fillerup

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.

Amber Fillerup wearing a hat, floral black jumpsuit, blue sandals and a denim jacket in Arizona for her post on the top 8 tips for new bloggers. Barefoot Blonde / Amber Fillerup

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.

Read More

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  1. Thank you so much for lending this advice Amber! I’ve read before how important a media kit is to a beginning blogger so I truly appreciate you being so descriptive and informative in that sections. Thanks a bunch! -Kim
    kimbermoose.com

  2. This is such a helpful post! I’m new to blogging and a little worried about sharing it on my social media etc in case of what people think, so I loved your point about not worrying about negative opinions. Thank you for sharing xxx

    Sarah
    http://www.notes-from-sarah.blogspot.com

  3. Do you think you would ever consider doing a more in depth post about a media kit? Maybe show some examples or recommend some good templates? I’ve heard so many different things from different successful bloggers, and so far nothing I’ve tried has worked for me haha so maybe it’s just how I’m pitching but I’d love to hear more about your tips a little more in depth on the media kit. Just a suggestion, but I know you probably get tons of them! XOXO

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I am getting ready to launch my blog and these tips are soooo helpful!! xoxo, Rachel Clayton

  5. So many great tips here! We were just talking about this during our Blog Societies conference in Atlanta this past weekend…LOVE!
    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    https://poorlittleitgirl.com

  6. Thank you so much for posting this! I am a fulltime nurse and have a son who is a few months older than your son Atticus. I started following you when you were pregnant, and I saw you post on Instagram a few years back! I have been a follower and fan of yours since! I love your stories and pictures you post of you and your families adventures! I look up to you and want to be able to live a life like yours! You are truly such an inspiration! I feel much better about starting a blog and plan on starting immediately. I do have one question though. What website do you use to set your initial blogging website up?

  7. Thank you so much for this post Amber! Your blog is what inspired me to start my own, and I’ve been putting in on standby these past months because I’ve been feeling lost in regards to what to do to increase traffic, new ideas, partnerships, etc. You’re such an inspiration!
    – Margaux

  8. This is so inspiring! I started my own blog about 2 years ago but a year ago, I stopped working on it because I hit a bit of a dead end. I am just revamping it and loved all of these tips. Thank you so much! I am not going to give up.

    http://www.riceandrepeat.com

  9. Love, Love, Love the information about media kits. I’ve been searching for a while on what to include in a kit and never can find any information. Instagram is a social media I really struggle with, would love to read some of your tips on gaining a following.

    http://www.ashtonblog.com/

  10. Love these tips, so interesting seeing your perspective!! Can’t believe it has almost been 10 years! You have come so far and it’s so cool to see all your success!!

    Lauren Lindmark | https://dailydoseofcharm.com

  11. You were reading my mind today Amber! This is exactly what I needed to hear. Have a blog that sat for over a year because I just didn’t know where to start. When you’re new to this stuff it can feel so overwhelming and confusing at first. How to get your domain, design your site and create what you envisioned! (Without spending like 9846734652 dollars haha) things add up so quickly! I SO appreciate posts like these with helpful photography and blogging tips. My passion for photography has sparked something inside me. Time to create 🙂

  12. These are all awesome tips! It’s crazy to think it’s almost been 10 years since most of us have started our blogs and how much things have changed (like the photography standard!) It’s fun to be a part of an ever changing industry!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  13. As far as graphics—-the app “word swag” is amazing and changed my life! (I’m not a blogger, we’ll officially, but I’m an author…so good graphic and teasers to promote my books are my a must!)

    1. Ah yes totally love those apps for insta stories especially! Going to add this to the post, thanks for the reminder about these!!! xoxoxox

  14. Just wanted to say how much I love your blog! I follow a lot of bloggers on Instagram (including you!), but your blog is the only one I actually read! You always have beautiful photos and your content is varied and interesting! Thanks for sharing your world with us. 🙂

  15. Is there a big advantage of buying someone’s Lightroom presets over just making your own? I don’t want to spend the money! Even the “auto tone” in Lightroom is so good now, I barely have to do anything else to my photos. I use the Lightroom version with the subscription that has software updates pretty often and there are always improvements. Thanks.

    1. If you love your own custom presets then totally keep doing that!!! The premade presets that bloggers sell just make it a little easier for people who aren’t familiar with Lightroom yet and gives them a good starting point

  16. I absolutely loved this post Amber! I have had my blog for a pretty long time, but I never really truly stuck to my guns and put all of me energy into it. The biggest struggle for me has been trying to create good content for the blog, I have a DLSR but no one really to take photos of me (my family is always super busy) and I would set it up with a tripod in my room but I wanted something more than that!! So, yesterday I had a meeting with a local photographer and we are going to work together on the blog to create photos and I am just sooo excited! I’m going to pay her (obvi) even though I don’t have too much traffic yet on my blog I definitely feel like it will all pay off in the end and I have to invest in my blog if I want to make it work!!
    Thanks for this post, you’ve inspired me even more!! <3
    https://www.amanda-carmela.com/

    1. Ah yay good for you!!!! So excited for you!! Honestly just be patient because for everyone it is slow growth in the beginning but if you love what you’re creating then that will make the “waiting period” much easier 🙂

  17. I really loved this blog post. As a relatively new blogger, I’m always looking for tips on how to improve my blog. Much like a lot of the people in the comments, I really appreciate the useful tip on making a media kit. I’ve just come back from a year abroad in Italy so have a ton of photos from my travels.

    http://www.hayleywickens.com

  18. ah thanks for being honest about all this! Especially the perfect part in the last time. I think everyone gets so hung up on that!

    chevrons & éclairs

  19. Love this! I find it hard some days to stay motivated, but love doing it still! This was so helpful, sometimes I just need a little reminder to stick with it. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  20. Thank you so much Amber for always being so kind and for always being you! I loved this and I am so greatful you did this! I have been following your blog for 6 years now and I have loved it every moment. You have always inspired me in all different ways but especially in blogging. I finally made a blog recently and have been striving to be as authentic as you. I know that readin your blog the things I love most is that you can really feel you in all of your posts, that your pictures are so full of life and that there is passion in everything you post. You are so real and so sweet. Thanks for these awesome tips as I continue to grow my blog. You are the best.

  21. I love this! I never even thought of creating the media kit!! That’s such an awesome idea xo

  22. Love this post!!! Being a new blogger can be overwhelming, and all advice is most appreciated!!! Thank you:)

  23. Thank you so much Amber! You seriously are such an inspiration and following you is honestly a big motivator for me everyday to keep going! I hope to be able to work with you someday! I’ve been blogging for a year and am just now getting a Media kit put together in hopes to work with brands like yours! Thank you for being such a supporting light on this platform!

  24. Loved this. Thank you for sharing so much indepth details. Like the camera and lens, and especially the media kit. I am very new to blogging and still learning.

  25. Thank you so much for this helpful post!! I currently blog for fun but I would love to turn it into a source of income/job. I had never heard of a media kit but it’s an excellent idea! You’re such an inspiration Amber 🙂

    http://www.ouradventurefamily.com

  26. I really loved this post and felt like I learned some tips for my own blog! I’d love to see your example of a media just so I can get a better idea! It’s all new to me haha

  27. -Nichola R. Jarvis @nichola.rae nicholaraewrites.blogspot.com on

    I found this blog to be once of the most helpful yet! I am a lifestyle blogger in my senior year of high school, and I plan on blogging in college! Though I am just beginning, I feel like I’ve done well so far. But I know there are a lot of things I have yet to accomplish, and I had so many questions on how to do a lot of the stuff I’ve seen on your page, and now I know!!! Thank you so so so much, Amber!

  28. Thank you so much for this! I’m a newish blogger and have always used Canva.com for graphics but I think I should look into Adobe. I’ve also just started looking into presets as well! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Hannah Rooks |therookiewife.com

  29. thank you so much for such insightful tips! i enjoyed reading this 🙂
    familytripsfromlondon