9 Blogger Tips on Getting Started

I’d been thinking of starting my blog for a long time but I’d always decided against it because of my worries about being dyslexic, not knowing much about photography and not having a clue where to start with it all! The idea for this blog really started to take form just after Christmas when I left my old job and went from working 5 days a week down to 3 days a week. Although I loved my job, I really wanted two days a week where I could work on a project of my own that I’m passionate about.

As time went on I started thinking of blogging more, especially when I was doing exciting things that I knew I wanted to blog about and share! One morning I told M that it was time… I was going to start a blog and I didn’t want those silly thoughts to put me off any more. I knew I wanted to do it as I love finding new places to go, writing and taking photos, so why would blogging not work for me!?

Within 10 minutes I was designing my blog with help from M, as he’s my tech wiz! I joke that he’s my PA/tech-boy, but if you don’t already know, M is my boyfriend, the one who puts up with me always blogging and filming content for YouTube! He also puts up with his dinner getting cold waiting for the perfect flat-lay, and sometimes coming home to a total mess as I’ve been moving furniture just to get the perfect white backdrop… YES I’m sorry for the mess!

I thought about buying a template for the website, but for me I knew in my head just how I wanted my blog to be laid out, and I wanted 100 percent control of it. Luckily M decided to create my vision, and sophiekate.co.uk was born!

I was a little worried about being the odd one out by not having a standard layout/template and not using Blogger or WordPress, but I really didn’t need to be. I love the fact my blog posts are all laid out on the homepage so it’s easy to see all my posts and find what you’d like to read. It also means the older blog posts don’t get forgotten about so quickly!

Now that I’ve been blogging for 6 months I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt about starting a blog, and I hope they will help you if you’re just starting out. So here we go:

  1. It’s really worth investing in good lighting! While light boxes are a pain to store, they are so worth it! I bought two fairly early on and they’re great for photography and filming, and I wouldn’t be able to take the photos I do without them.

  2. A tripod will really help take well exposed and focussed photos, and they are incredibly useful when you’re on your own and need to film or take photo of yourself!

  3. Blog posts aren’t easy and aren’t just a quick 10 minute job! Together with my YouTube channel, blogging has now taken over my life, but I’m really glad as I love it all so much and all the hours of hard work are totally worth it.

  4. It’s okay to ask for help! I’m very lucky that M can help with my website and help sometimes on complicated setups or when filming shots of me. But it’s totally okay to get help and advice from people who are happy to help. Most popular bloggers and YouTubers have all sorts of help with photography, websites and filming, so it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It sometimes beneficial to have a helping hand that you can direct to help create your vision.

  5. I found it better not to plan too many blog posts in advance, as that way if new opportunities pop-up you can be a bit more flexible. I enjoy being able to post my blogs as close as possible to the day of an event so it’s always fresh in my mind and relevant to my readers. That being said, I still love being organised and planning, and I have several notebooks (the ban.do ones are amazing I love them!). I have one for my weekly todo list and one for ideas and notes! I also have have a monthly planner which is great and I add in all my blog and YouTube schedules. A whole month fits on one page and it’s a good size to pop in a handbag!

  6. Get Google Analytics! It’s so useful to track your blog’s activity and visitors, and it can tell you what posts are proving popular and where your visitors come from. On a similar note, make sure you check out my recent blog post where I wrote about useful apps which have helped along the way.

  7. Learn to say no! When I first started contacting and being contacted by PR and marketing companies they offered all sorts of products to review. Some of those products will no doubt not be your kind of thing, or not align with your blog’s vision. If this ever happens then you must get comfortable saying no. There’s always the initial worry about saying no and then ruining a relationship with a company, but I’ve found that being honest and explaining why a certain product isn’t for you is the best thing to do, and the companies are always totally understanding and happy to stay in touch. It’s also important to not be scared to ask to work with the companies which are right for your blog, as at the end of the day your blog is about the things you love!

  8. Search for local blogger groups! I talked about this on my recent blog post “Blogger Meet-ups and Why Everyone Should Arrange One”, and I can’t recommend this enough. You’ll be surprised at what you learn and the lovely people you’ll meet.

  9. When deciding on a username I was careful to make sure whatever I used would be available on all the different social media websites. This makes it much easier for my followers to find me, as I’m simply @sophiekateblogs on everything. I think this is a good idea when starting out as being easy to find is so important when first growing an audience.

I’ve only been blogging since February so I’m by no means a pro, however I hope these little tips might help you our or persuade you to start blogging. If you’re a blogger then please comment below with some of your tips, and if you’re just starting a blog, good luck and dive in… you’re about to start an amazing journey!