To all the bloggers out there... This one's for you! Here are the most common blogging tips that I found, when I first started my blog way back when. I literally used to Google things like "blogging for beginners" or "how to start a blog." Blogging for Dummies was pretty helpful too, believe it or not. With so many free resources available to you, there is no reason not to get your blog off the ground. There are just a few basic components to a blog that you have to nail (all of the time), so that everything else will always fall into place. And then you'll look like one of those famous successful bloggers that really have their ish together.
Your blog should be styled as you are. Your blog should look like you. Your blog should sound like you. And if you're blog could walk, it should walk like you too. If one of your followers were to meet you in person, they should be able to say "I feel like I know you." Be authentic. but don't share too much personal info #ontheblog. Remember, your blog is not your private diary or some sort of emotional outlet.
Create a brand that is unique to you. Learn to be creative, so that you can design whatever you want. And if you can't create it, at least be able to design what you want. Your logo is so freakin' important, it's not even funny. Seriously!!! Your logo is the face of your brand, after you, of course. Design your own logo and create it. And if you're not Photoshop-savvy or anything like that, find a creative with some serious Adobe Illustrator skills to create your dream logo for you. Most importantly, the logo design needs to be all you.
Use the same color palette that you designed your logo with, for all branding and marketing purposes. Choose as many colors as you'd like, but keep it consistent. When it comes to fonts, one or two will do, and three is the max. Again, even with fonts, use them consistently all over your blog (and on social media).
Web design (mixed with some coding, if you dare to learn) allows you to create a website that is all your own. I think Squarespace is very user-friendly and easy to learn. I wanted my website to be two things: a blog and a online boutique. And I was able to create my website with both of those features, by customizing the Brine template on Squarespace. Knowing what functionalities you want on your website is helpful. For example, I wanted a "lookbook" feature on my blog for readers to shop my looks.
I won't talk down other website platforms, but I will share my experiences with you. After using WordPress for several years, I was never able to create my dream website for my blog. And I found it very hard to learn how to customize my site, no matter what template I tried. That's why I finally made the switch. Wix is another popular website platform that small businesses use. While Wix has all of the features I could ever possibly need, I don't find their website templates very customizable.
Great photos are a must. If your "readers" wanted to read a book, they would have. A blog needs a balanced amount of image and copy. Btw, copy means text. Stock photos are good, but original photos are better. I choose to have a balanced mix of both my own images and stock photos on my blog. Pictures will show who you are and what you like, while text will let you tell your viewers who you are. And when those viewers convert to followers, that's when you know they like what you're putting out there.
Be on top of what's new in your designated industry. Fashion bloggers should let their followers know about those new shoes... and the fact that now you have them too. Share your styling tips and latest and greatest accessories. Hair bloggers should share the latest hair products, the truth about hair myths, or how to do that "new bun thing." Chef bloggers should share the latest trends in cooking or maybe secret ingredients to spice up your own recipes. You get the point. Just stay relevant.
Convert your once-in-awhile viewers into religious, trendy fashion-lovin followers. Connect with as many of your followers as possible. Getting to know your followers is crucial because you need to blog about what they want to read about. You'll never know, if you don't ask. Surveys are the best way to find out what your blog readers want to read more about (and what they don't). You need to know what your list of email subscribers want to see in their inbox and how often they want to see that content. And if you have good friends following your blog, ask for their honest opinions. Rely on the opinions of your community to improve your blog, before worrying about increasing your following.