How to Be a Blogger
Published by CultNoise magazine.
In our social media obsessed pop culture, many of us religiously follow bloggers for advice and tips (or just for some good reads) on everything from makeup, beauty and fitness, to arts and culture. But blogging isn’t just restricted to these categories. Blogs can specialise in anything and everything. No matter what you’re into, someone out there will be blogging about it. But if you’re still looking for the perfect blog to stalk, why not create it yourself? Here is the Cult Noise guide on how to be a blogger:
Find the Perfect Host Site
Choosing a host that suits you and your blog is the first step in building your blogging empire. The most popular hosts are WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr. All three are great and provide many of the same features. But it’s important to try things out on all three (or even more sites) to see which one fits. If you want to create a blog with a Pinterest collage style, or if you’re a photographer or artist and want to create a blog to showcase your art, Tumblr is probably the one for you. Tumblr is designed very much around photographs, visual art, videos and colourful posts. So, if your blog will be more visual than literary, Tumblr is the one.
If, however, your blog will be more wordy, you can narrow the choice down to WordPress or Blogger. Both sites are excellent, but in terms of the variety of different blog themes and designs, WordPress has the edge. And if you’d like to splash out, you can also buy a domain name on any of these three sites and upgrade to premium packages to get on your hands on more colourful and innovate designs and expert features. Whether you’d like to stay amateur or go pro, one of these three sites is the best place to start.
When it comes to certain areas of blogging (makeup and beauty, in particular), it can be quite competitive and dense with a lot of very similar blogs. To make your blog stand alone from the rest, you need to find a specific niche that makes your blog stick out like a sore thumb. As cliche as it sounds, think outside the box, and try to think of an edgy, innovative, fascinating angle that will hook intrigued readers in and encourage them to follow your blog posts.
If you’re an aspiring beauty blogger who happens to have skin problems such as acne or eczema, for example, then don’t avoid the subject. Make your differences (and even your flaws) take the stage and be that unique twist that every blog needs. Or, if you’re an aspiring food blogger and you’re trying out veganism, use that as your angle. Think about what makes you and your blog different, be explicit about it, and actually use it to promote your site. Be creative, and, most importantly, different.
Additionally, if you’re interested in branching out into vlogging (video blogging), having something special and different from the rest is even more important on the worldwide platform: YouTube. With YouTube being filled to the brim with vloggers and tutorial experts, finding your niche is the most important step to success. Take Em Ford, for example, who receives millions of views and has a huge following on her channel because she embraces her flaws and specialises in acne makeup coverage. By honing in on this specific angle, Em makes herself stand out from the countless makeup vloggers on YouTube.
Once you’ve found the perfect host site and theme for your blog, the next step is planning your blog posts. If you’re working around a schedule of work or studying, figure out when and how often you can write and post new blog entries. One of the most important steps in building a following who continually come back to read your blog posts, is consistency. If you know you can only post once a week, then, again, be explicit about it. Promote your weekly post with a countdown widget on your blog, or by sending out a tweet along the lines of: “Two days until the new blog post on…” Publicise your blog posts and you should still gain a readership, even if you can’t post as often as you’d like.
As well as being consistent with how often you post, the style of your blog posts should also be consistent. If you want to include gifs, pictures and/or videos in your posts, then try to include these kind of visual aids in most of your posts in order to keep the style looking consistent without being exactly the same. Or if you’re a beauty blogger, stick to mostly beauty, makeup and lifestyle posts, and don’t deviate away from your theme too much or too often. If you’re blog is labelled as something specific and your posts do not follow that theme, it’s likely that readers will get confused and, eventually, even become disenchanted with your blog altogether. So, remember to be consistent!
Start Blogging and Promoting
Once you’ve got everything in place and you’re ready to start blogging, promotion is the next step. If you don’t already use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and similar sites, then start! Use your social media platforms to promote your posts; join blogger communities, pages and groups to find more tips and advice; and, if you can, go to blogger meet-ups. The more involved you are, the more likely you are to make contacts, get invited to blogger events, find great opportunities, competitions and giveaways, and work your way up to receiving freebies to review or even start making money from blogging. And, as a final side thought, it’s also important to be patient. If you’re expecting to become the next Zoella overnight, it is unlikely that it will happen that way. Finding your feet and building a readership will take time. But if you have consistency, talent, and a unique angle, you’ll be well on your way.
What are your top tips for aspiring bloggers? Let us know in the comment section below.