TOP 10 ESSENTIALS FOR BLOGGING BEGINNERS

28.5.15

I've been Blogger for just over a year now and It was something for me that was a very spontaneous decision and something I really had no idea where to start.

A lot of people I speak to say they'd love to start a Blog but say:
1. They don't have time
2. Don't know what to write about
3. Worries that no one will read it
4. Have no idea what they're doing

As I was in the same position a year ago, I thought I'd share with you my Top 10 Essentials of Blogging Beginners, to help all of you out there who want to start Blogging and want a helping hand of where to start and what essentials you need and where the hell to start!




1.  A Blog Name
Possibly the thing I found hardest about starting a Blog.
If you've been reading Styled by Charlie from the start you'll know it wasn't originally called Styled by Charlie it was called Pallettt.blogspot.com (my Surname), as I initially didn't know what I was going to Blog about or whether I was going to stick to it.
After I decided on a Fashion theme the name Styled by Charlie popped into my head one day and it stuck. I liked that it was perfect for Fashion but if I ever want to branch out into other subject areas - exactly like I have done - the Blog name still works!

2. Pick a Platform
I found this step quite overwhelming as I didn't know how to use anything but Tumblr in the way of blog platforms but knew Tumblr wasn't the best platform to start the kind of blog I had in mind.
I went with Blogger. Mainly because I'd heard more people using Blogger than I had Wordpress or any others. I found it so frustrating to get the hang of initially as I had no idea what I was doing. But with the help of Google and YouTube I quickly found my way around and I love it now.
I'm still learning and finding different ways to do new things on Blogger but I think it's the perfect platform for StyledbyCharlie.com.

3. Have a Niche
I think the main thing people always worry about when starting a Blog is that 'Will anyone actually read it?'. What I think is important for your Blog and your sanity when your blog first goes live is having a niche.
It's important for your blog so it stands out and is unique, but important for you so you feel and know you're doing something different in the big bloggersphere world.
My particular niche is my Black and White Theme across all my feeds on my Blog, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest & Twitter.

4. Design a Header & Logo
As a part time Graphic Designer this is one of my favourite things to do, but it's also a hobby of mine so I get bored of logos and designs really quickly and am always getting addicted to new fonts, always thinking of new ideas.
However with a Blog you need to try and find a Blog Design & Logo that's fluid, memorable and easy to use across all platforms and social media but also uniquerelatable to you and true to your blog.

If anyone wants help with Blog Logos or Headers I Design Logos so you can give me an email at styledbycharlie@yahoo.com if you need a helping hand


5. Get addicted to Social Media
This is possibly my main Blogging Top Tip!
Social Media is FREE, so take complete advantage.
It's part of everyones daily life now. We read Twitter & Instagram not Newspapers anymore, so make sure you're involved in it.
Theres so many Social Media Platforms to be a part of; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (Add me: CharliePallett), LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr just to name a few so make sure you and your Blog have a Profile in as many platforms as possible so you can find your readers and your readers can find you!

6. Promote. Promote. Promote.
If you don't promote you Blog or Posts how is anyone going to now it's there?
How will I know that you've written a new post that went live an hour ago if you're not telling me about it?
The best thing about social media is that it's completely free, remember it's the only form of free advertising out there so make sure you share your posts with your following and get #hash tagging!

Top Tip:
Don't SPAM though!


7. Appearance or Content?
Finding a balance.
It's easy to get carried away with what your blog looks like and forget about writing regular posts.
But what I found the hardest was figuring out is if readers care more about the pictures on my blog or the content?
I'd seen so many blogs that had pictures and pictures and pictures with only a paragraph of writing.
Something I try to do is find the perfect balance between the two as I've found a new hobby for writing since I starting Blogging and we have Instagram for all thing visual so I do think it's important to have that perfect balance between content and photographs.

I like to stick by my;
Content Vs Pictures Rule:
1 Paragraph for every Photograph.
Unless it's a post like this - which I don't do often - which doesn't really require photographs


8. Taking the perfect Photograph
I do think photos are extremely important for blogs and it's great to write descriptive text.
However things are so easier to visualise with a photograph and I also find things easier to read if they include in pictures also.
As a part time Photographer, taking photos is also a hobby of mine as well as a part time career so I do love taking photographs for my Blog. I never used to mix my photography career with my blogging however recently after Blogging for a year I realised it's something I'm definitely going to stick at for many years to come so I wanted to give my blog a step up. So I started with a new look, new domain and new logo but I also thought it was the perfect timing to introduce new, and better photography for StyledbyCharlie.com.
I now use my Nikon D800 with my Nikkor 50mm Lens to take all my blog photographs.
This camera is what I use for my Photography Jobs and will be out of a lot of your budgets but that doesn't mean you need one of the same grade. The best camera to have for taking the best blog pictures is a DSLR which you can pick up for much more affordable prices that a few years ago.
I'd recommend a 50mm Lens for Blog Photos like the ones I'm currently taking and my Nikkor 50mm is my personal favourite which I bought of eBay second hand for a great price!
I'd also recommend having a smaller camera or Mobile Phone with a decent camera for pictures on the go for those perfect Instagram opportunities.
I like to take my Blog photos in natural lighting outdoors for simply to reason it makes me feel like I'm photographing as a hobby and not on a job in the studio surrounded by all my lighting. It also gives great photographing conditions as well as makes lovely natural photographs outside in the garden etc with stunning backgrounds.
I find it's great to check out other peoples blogs, stalk Instagram and Pinterest to get inspiration for New Blog pictures and photography ideas.

9. How to get in the 'Blogging Zone'
It's so hard to get your head into the Zone to Blog when you're first starting out as it's not natural or in your normal routine.
My favourite ways to get in the Zone to Blog is to start with the Photographs.
Getting creative always kickstarts my happy mood and once I've visioned what I want my photos to look I start getting creative in the garden with compositions.
Onces I've taken the photographs I upload them onto my iMac and get editing in Photoshop and upload onto my Post. Once the photos are layed out in my blog I pop a catchy kids film on something like Frozen, Tangled or The Lizzie McGuire Movie - or something else as equally cheesy but appealing - and light my favourite candle.
Which is usually The White Company's Pomegranate or Seychelles, Jo Malone Lime, Basil & Mandarin, Oliver Bonas' Ginger & Lime or Elderflower & Lime or my Soft Blanket Yankee Candle.
I then find I'm in the ideal Blogging Zone and find having the pictures already inserted easy to related to and help the flow of writing.

10. Don't be afraid to be YOU
I initially found it difficult to know how to write and how honest I should be...
Be YOU. If you're thinking something, write it! Don't hold back.
Don't be afraid to talk to other Bloggers, ask advice, ask your readers even.

Top Tip:
Don't be afraid to contact brands.
Ask to review their products or just simply make yourselves know to them and give out your details.
You're doing to PR Companies job for them!



I hope these tips have be helpful and giving you inspiration for your blog or maybe just a helping hand to something you'd not already thought of.

If you have any other questions, please Comment bellow as I'd be more than happy to answer them!

Thank you for reading!



P.S
Don't Forget!
I recently wrote a 12 Page Chapter for The Bloggers Love Book which is very Limited Edition and available to purchase here from unit 4th June.
So grab you copy quick!
The Bloggers Love Book is written by Bloggers Love owner Danielle Antonio as well as Chapters written by UK Bloggers and YouTubers covering experience and advice on Blogging/Youtube, building a business from scratch, fashion & beauty tips, social media & blog chats, dealing with anxiety & other personal issues, confidence, positivity, recipes and bits and pieces to inspire and motivate you. 

The Bloggers Love Book is only available to purchase until 4th June
Available in Paper Back or Hard Copy

Also
Don't Forget!
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel here where they'll now be 2 New Videoson my Channel every week!




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