Since doing my Insider series, it seemed only natural for my next post to be focused on Blogging as it’s a topic that a lot of people are interested in. There are definitely a whole plethora of blogging tips out there on the internet, but perhaps some of you wouldagree that a lot of them give the same advice over and over again. So I hope that you might find this one a bit more real and honest in comparison to other tips you may have read.
1. Don’t worry about having a niche, focus on your trademark.
So many advice articles I’ve read have put such a huge amount of emphasis on focusing on finding YOUR niche. So much so, that in the beginning that I was quite put off about starting my blog at all out of fear that I hadn’t found my niche! It’s silly really, the best advice I can give to starting a blog truly is just to start. You already have a niche, it’s called being YOU. And that comes with already being YOUnique. I’m sure you already know what you want to focus on, whether that be fashion, beauty or lifestyle… perhaps even a combination of them all!
Instead focus on, what is your trademark? What I mean by that is what are your readers going to recognize you by. Is it that you only wear black and white or you only wear prints? Do you have feminine or masculine style? Do you always wear black sunglasses or laced-up heels? Figure out what style it is that people are going to recognise you by in both your photography and your look.
2. Decide at the start whether it’s a hobby or job.
Countless times, I’ve heard some of the OG bloggers, in response to being asked how to be a successful blogger, say ‘Well when I started I didn’t even know it could be a job, so I’d say just start by doing it as a hobby and don’t expect anything’. Whilst that might have been the natural progression 7 years ago when bloggers first started coming onto the scene, these days when the blogosphere is so over sataured, I’m afraid it just ain’t going to cut it.
Now, of course, you should only be doing a blog because you truly love it. You are, as such, writing a personal dairy so if you aren’t enthusiastic and interested in what you’re doing, then don’t expect your readers to be either. However, if you truly want ‘blogging’ to become a job for you, then you must treat it as a job from the start. Set up an editorial planner and invest in your blog like a business.
3. Good imagery matters, a lot.
Although I do not disregard the writing part of a blog AT ALL (have you seen how long my posts are?), imagery truly is the main focus of your blog. It’s the images that get re-posted by other brands, circulated on pinterest and attract readers to read your blog post. Whilst iphone’s might be able to cut it in some situations, ultimately they won’t perform well all the time.
I asked for a beginner Canon EOS 1100D DSLR camera for Christmas that was under £200 and served me well for the first year of blogging. I would also recommend saving up to buy a 40 or 50mm 1.8 lense to replace the one that comes with it, it will make your photos look 150x better and more professional.
4. Don’t focus on the numbers.
Seriously, I think that now – thankfully – more brands are realising that it’s a waste of time to throw money at someone just because they have a tonne of Instagram followers. Rather, what they are asking is, is this person on-brand? Are they reputable? Do they know what they’re talking about? And perhaps most importantly, are their readers listening and engaging with them?
Think about who is actually engaging and advocating your brand. It’s much more important to organically build up a following who actually care what you say, trust your opinion and take the time to engage with you. So whilst you should be striving to continuously be building your following, don’t be discouraged at the start. Focus on the quality of your work and engaging with your readers, no matter how few of them they are.
And honestly, when you look back at old posts you’ll be so glad that you only had a couple of followers in the beginning!!
5. Always use hashtags. Always.
Again, I’ve heard bloggers who are already past the 100k following suggesting using the bare minimum for hashtags, if not any at all. While that’s all well and good for the people who already have that following and engagement, how are the rest of us going to be heard? Especially with Instagram’s new algorithm (don’t get me started). I don’t see the problem with using hashtags, so long as they are relevant for the community that you are trying to reach out to.
I understand that they look a bit ugly, so my tip is to not put your hashtags in with your caption. Instead, write them as a comment immediately after you’ve posted. That way, they will get hidden once just two people have commented. Be mindful that Instagram only allows you to do 30 hashtags, so you are capped on how many you can put anyway!
6. Post not weekly, but daily.
If you are serious about building a following and growing your audience, you need to be present somewhere online everyday. I would even argue that you need be present across all of your social media channels every day. Are you posting a photo to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook daily? Although it is argued to be one of it’s downsides, social media is 24/7 and it comes with the job. It is also something that I need to practice more!
I understand not posting daily with your main site, whether that be Youtube or your Blog, so long as you are consistently posting on these platforms that you should see a corresponding increase in your engagement.
7. You don’t have to follow every other blogger.
I think that this last one is possibly one of the most important tips. Due to the fact that there are SO many bloggers out there, you can quickly become absorbed and overwhelmed with what everyone else is doing that you loose focus of what you’re doing.
I would advise not get too wound up in what everyone else is doing, and just focus on doing YOU. Like when I was mentioning earlier about style, make sure that your style truly is a reflection of you and surround yourself with just that. It’ll help you keep your focus and also probably your confidence in yourself. I think unconsciously we can end up doing what other people are doing even if it isn’t really true to ourselves, and then we end up in an existential crisis of WHO EVEN AM I?!
Much like friends, it’s best to surround yourselves around those few who you most get along with than trying to be friends with everyone.
Here’s the exciting part! I imagine a few of you are wondering where my marble laptop skin is from (I know because I’ve been searching high and low for one for ages)… Well, the lovely folks at CaseApp are offering the chance for one of my readers to win a free product (worth £22) from their website! Eek, here’s what you have to do to enter:
1. Must be following @caseapp and @atelierofstyle on Instagram.
2. Be following Atelier of Style on Bloglovin‘ (link here)
3. Leave me a comment on this post with what design you would put on your case if you won!
If you can’t wait until then, you can STILL receive 20% off all their products on their website with the code ATELIEROFSTYLE20. I personally wanted just the marble skin (I even got a marble case for my phone too!) but you can actually create your own costum case/skin on the site! Check out their Instagram for some inspiration on what you might do with your own.
The giveaway will be open for one week only, ending Thursday, 4th August. Winner will recieve a code for credit worth £22 to use on www.caseapp.co.uk. Winner will be picked using a randomize name service and must be following social links above to enter. Only one entry per person. Please make sure if any of your accounts are private that you leave an email address in the comment so I can easily contact you if you are the winner!