Starting your own blog can initially be a daunting task for anyone, seasoned bloggers make it look so effortless but in reality they were once just starting out too and are without a doubt the best people to give beginner blogger advice. We asked some of the top interior bloggers in the industry what is their best tip for those just starting their blogging careers…
‘Determine your niche as soon as soon as possible. You don’t have to blog about every single thing happening in your life, find 2, max 3 topics that you genuinely believe in & stick to them.’
‘The best advice I can give is to write about what interests you, don’t try to emulate anyone else. If you follow your unique voice you will provide interesting content that others will love too. You may think the blogosphere is saturated but there is always room for great new blogs that offer something different.’
‘Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from the outset. Create an inspiration board with ideas and photos. Then when designing your blog page, make sure it represents the above … and is easy to navigate.’
‘Find your niche! There are so many design blogs out there it can seem a little overwhelming when you start, but I find if you start small and really focus your energy on one particular area of design then you are much more likely to find your feet and gain a loyal following. When I started I was writing about all elements of interior design but I’ve since zeroed in on my real passion – country living – and I try to ensure all my posts relate to that. That way people can easily identify with your blog and they know what to expect.’
‘The most important thing in my opinion about starting a new blog in this saturated market is to have an authentic voice. Great images, snappy layouts and fun widgets are easy to come by these days but what readers want is personality and your true self to shine through. Be funny, be conversational and be honest. That’s what will keep them coming back.’
‘Find a niche that excites you, and build your blog around it – if you’re passionate about your topic and enjoy what you do, it will shine through in your words and inspire others. And don’t be tempted to spend ages comparing yourself to other bloggers – we all have our own voice to offer, so just be yourself and have fun!’
‘SHARE THE LOVE – I think one thing I have learned and value above all else since starting to blog 7 years ago is the importance of engagement. Replying to people who take the time to comment on your blog, engaging with them on all your social media platforms. Some of the most amazing people I started conversations with through blogging all those years ago are still my friends today and I have also met many of them at events and blogging meetings. As you become more experienced you are inevitably able to help each other. It’s important to support those who take the time to support you.’
‘As tempting as it can be, resist the urge to compare yourself to other bloggers’ success. If you are persistent, stick to your brand and never compromise on your integrity, your time will come.’
‘After blogging formally for a year, I am by no means an expert, but here’s what has worked for me over this time: first of all, it takes time to establish both an audience as well as find your own unique style. It’s perfectly normal to experiment with formatting the look and feel of your blog (I know I have!), but the earlier you finalise it, the better. First impressions count, so why not invest in a blog template (you can find plenty on ETSY) that can make your blog look professional from the start? Equally important is coming up with a unique domain name – before you purchase anything, check that your “name” is also available across a number of social media like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Open all accounts (domain name and social media) at the same time to ensure consistency. Once you have your presence established, make sure you contribute to each platform on a regular basis.
Secondly, you need to network. Bloggers are a nice bunch of people but you need to give in order to get. Don’t work in isolation. Liking and retweeting someone else’s post will earn you likes and RTs in return and help your blog and social media accounts grow faster. And if you are interested in collaborating with brands in the long term, make sure you connect with the ones you really like early on and start supporting them. Oh, and did I mention that participating in blog awards like the AMARA IBAs can super-boost your blog?!’
‘Be consistent with your blog name. Once you have decided on a blog name and 100% happy with it, don’t waste your time trying out a free WordPress or Blogspot URL. Purchase the .com and .co.uk versions straight away, which avoids anyone trying to replicate your hard work. Then use a website such as namechk.com and make sure your blog name is available on the main social media networks. If it’s not, think of a different way to write it until you can have the same name on each network. Then sign up to all the main networks such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Google+.’
Be opportunistic! It always helps to take your chance; be it the right moment for a photograph or the perfect time to introduce yourself to your favourite brand. If you believe in fate or being at the right place at the right time, in a way, taking an opportunity is you creating that ‘right place at the right time’ for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to think that I’ve missed an opportunity.
‘The single most important piece of advice I was given when I started blogging was “be me.” Sounds simple right? But when I first established my blog, back in 2008, I wrote what I thought people wanted to read. I’d read the likes of Coco’s Tea Party and Cupcakes & Cashmere and could see how great they were relating to their audience and I thought, I need me some of that.
So I basically wrote about things I didn’t really find inspirational but I thought might get me hits. Big mistake. The second I started to add my own personality to my blog, and stopped worrying about what other people thought, it instantly became more successful. Mainly because I was proud of what I was putting out onto the internet and it wasn’t some half-hearted post about which celebrity was wearing what. Just be yourself and the readers will come.’
‘Always be yourself. I think it is really easy to get caught up with the style or look of other blogs that you love. The most important thing though is to stay true to your unique voice and aesthetic because this is what will set you apart from everyone else.’
”The best blogging advice I’ve been given was to write about what you love and don’t worry about the outcome. Being authentic to yourself and to your readers will always shine through above and beyond anything else.’
‘My top tip for new bloggers would be to focus on photography. We live in such a visual world that if your photos don’t stand out, your words won’t matter. Take the time to learn your camera, set up the shots properly and really understand lighting and composition. It will pay off in the long run!’
‘Blogging is a great medium in which you have the freedom to express yourself creatively and is an exciting way to be a part of a community of people who share similar ideas, interests and passions. I write my blog mainly for me and my own desire to be creative, but the blogging community is what makes writing and sharing really exciting. I have been lucky enough to have met so many inspiring people through blogging. My biggest piece of advice to anyone thinking about writing a blog is to just get started and sharing and not to worry too much.
There is a great quote that says “dance like no-one is watching” I think you could say the same about blogging when you begin, “blog like no-one is reading” It will take time to build up a readership and in that time you will really begin to find your voice and people will keep coming back to read. Starting out can be daunting, but the more you write and post the more comfortable you will become in sharing your thoughts and ideas.’
‘When starting a new column or category, really think about possible angles first and make sure that you have plenty of post ideas for it. It sounds obvious, but it’s all too easy to get carried away with a new column idea, start posting and then realise a few weeks/ months in that you’ve run out of ideas! So decide how long you want the column to run for (and how often you’ll be posting into it), and sit down and brainstorm first to decide whether or not it’s viable. If you only have enough ideas for say 5 posts, then just bill it as a series of 5 posts, rather than a new column!’
‘Be passionate & authentic about what you are blogging. Sharing what you love and are passionate about resonates with readers. If you are jumping into blogging to make money, you have a very long road ahead of you. But, if you are passionate about what you do you will want to dedicate the time necessary to a blog and it almost won’t feel like work.’
‘The one key piece of advice I’d give new bloggers is to just be yourself. You might be really inspired by other bloggers, which is great! But, to make yourself stand out from the crowd, you need to inject in your personality and embrace your unique voice. If you are passionate about what you are writing, you’ll come across more authentic and your readers will be able to relate to you much easier.’