Hey guys! So the Unaverse has finally hit its one year mark sometime this month and I couldn’t be more happy or proud of myself for sticking to it and not giving up! I’m a very impulsive person and I get really excited about things when I first decide to do them but get bored and quit really quickly, and I’m unbelievably proud that I didn’t do that with my blog. I’ve learned so much in the past year and improved in many different ways, so I thought that I would share some tips and advice for anyone who is starting out their own blog, or has already started one but isn’t quite sold on it yet. In this post I’ve also asked my best friend Klaudia (@thedailyvogue) to contribute some advice and tips of her own, as this queen has been in the biz for over 4 years now (get it girrrl!) and has been my guidance and support throughout my whole blogging journey. Between the two of us, we should be able to cover the most important bases of things that we believe new bloggers should know.
Make sure you’re blogging for the right reasons
I started my blog because I’ve always wanted to write, but I never really knew what to write about so I combined my love of writing with my passion for beauty. I also wanted to share this passion with other people, and be a part of a community who shares the same passions that I do. My blog actually helped me realise career wise that I needed to be a part of the beauty industry, so I will be attending school as of June to become a nail technician. Please do not start blogging because you want free products, (Klaudia has an entire post dedicated to that here if you’d like more details on that), or because you want instant fame, or really anything that is vain and superficial. If any of those reasons are why you’re blogging, you probably won’t blog for long. I think Klaudia adds to this point further down as well.
Be confident in yourself and don’t compare yourself to other bloggers
This is something that I think everyone struggles with from time to time, and I remember how much it affected me when I first started. You see all these people on Instagram with tons and tons of followers, perfect pictures, you look at their site and it’s perfect looking and organized and looks like they’re a tech-savvy coding genius and you look at your own website that you haven’t even learned how to customize yet. Yeah, it can be a huge bummer, trust me I know. But my advice to anyone is to try your best to not compare yourself to anyone. Your blog is what makes you, you. Anything technical, you can easily learn, but just take it easy and know that Oprah wasn’t built in a day. Also keep in mind that you will change your layout, and theme, and everything a million times, because people are constantly changing and our blogs will change and grow with us!
Blogging requires work
I think that a lot of people don’t fully understand how much time, effort and energy blogging actually takes. From the initial set up of everything, to the photography, editing the photos, writing the blog posts, and actually reviewing the products blogging can be a full time job! It’s always good to prepare a few photos and posts ahead of time so that you have content ready for those weeks or days that you’re too busy with the rest of your life. I’ve witnessed quite a few people start blogging but not wanting to make the time or put in the work and they complain about having low engagement, etc. Well duh, who’s going to read your stuff if it’s done half-assed and inconsistent? That was probably a little blunt, but sadly the truth hurts.
Social Media is your savior
You NEED to be active on social media! Instagram is my personal favorite to work with because for me, it’s the best place to gather a following and to market my blog and blog posts. Some bloggers prefer Twitter or Pinterest, for me personally, Instagram works the best. But no matter which social media you choose, you need to be active on it! Being active however, doesn’t just mean posting frequently. You should also be engaging with other people and other bloggers, you can’t just take and not give back! While blogging shouldn’t be about numbers for you (unless you are in it for the wrong reasons) social media can be fun and helpful without making you number-crazy! I like to tell people about my new posts and post other blog related things because I want to draw a fan base for the sake of getting my voice out there, not just like some whose goals consist of all-expenses paid trips, etc.
Be real, be YOU
Instagram has become a serious problem lately due to people buying followers, or using bots to follow and then unfollow hundreds of people. This is extremely discouraging to people who are REAL bloggers who put in time and energy into gaining followers the right way. I could talk about this issue for a hot minute, but my main point here is that it is very tempting and very easy when you’re just starting out to go down this route. Please, don’t. If you are blogging for the fame aspect, then you are not blogging for the right reason, and there are tons of real bloggers out there who are overlooked because of these fake people. Your blog is you. Just be real, put in the work, and you will see results! Patience is a virtue, and cheaters eventually get caught.
Hello fellow Unaverse readers! I am so happy to be a part of this blog post on The Unaverse Blog. Also as a friend I would like to mention that I am so incredibly proud of my dear friend Una for coming this far in her journey, always putting in 110%, and being the best blogger she can be. I am so excited to see where she goes with her blog in the future! Now, let’s get back to business. Blogging is something that has become very near and dear to my heart. It started as a small hobby because I wanted a creative space of my own where I could write about my favourite beauty and style trends. Over the years my blog has grown significantly and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most renowned beauty and style brands. I’ve also met some amazing people throughout my journey and I wouldn’t change a thing. It sounds all peachy right? Well, here is what you don’t see.
Failure = Success
With every successful business, comes alot of failures. I consider my blog to be my very own small business. Even if say, you are not making any blog revenue because you just started out, you are still selling your services in exchange for free products to review on your blog. This is still a business transaction! You can’t expect to get alot in return for nothing. Your blog’s success is a direct reflection of your work ethic. The long hours you put in, the sacrifices you make, the frustrating times you endure – it is all a part of the learning process. Just like real life – blogging requires experience. You can’t expect to be hired as an executive position with a 6-figure salary if you haven’t worked a day in your life. You need to keep in mind that you’re representing these brands when you advertise their products. Of course they want someone reliable, influential, and overall someone who has a presence. You need to make that experience happen. You will need to use your own products, your own clothes, your own everything! This way, you can build a solid foundation so that when you do get that first PR outreach from a brand- you know exactly what they will expect and they know exactly what type of content you’re able to produce. At the end of the day, it is OK to suck. Nothing is ever perfect and nobody is ever perfect. I think that once people get past that “I want to be like so-and-so” it will be much easier to focus on what you really came to do — which is blog!
Always Keep Learning!
Being a beauty and style blogger, the industry is huge. One pitfall is that I always have to be on the look out for the latest beauty and style trends. In order to get ahead, you need to be ahead. Spend time researching and testing new material. Is this something your readers will like? Does it relate to them? Always keep those things in mind. Not only does this relate to products and/or services, but your own personal growth too. Your blog needs to grow with the industry. I always try to keep up with the latest technology trends. Whether it is social media marketing or photography I always make sure to freshen things up every now and then and keep my readers interested. If you don’t know where to go or what to do – one thing I always say to everyone is “get out there and gather inspo”. Chances are that you won’t be the first to try something or wear something or even talk about something. So get out there, do your research, and gather inspo. Always keep brainstorming your ideas for your upcoming content.
This is probably the most cringe worthy topic I want to talk about. At first when I started blogging 4 years ago I did not really understand why some bloggers were extremely bitter when it came to this. Well now I know why, and I am proud to say that I am one of those bitter bloggers. I work a full-time job, I also attend university in which I’m in my 4th year now, and on top of that I have a blog. The stress, panic, and countless hours of hard work and dedication I spend on my blog is beyond overwhelming. This is something that I have built over the last few years, it is something I can call my very own. To have people jump on the fame bandwagon because they want to be IG famous is frustrating to deal with. The blogging world is beyond polluted with people who just do it to become internet famous. Do you KNOW that in 2020, we are expected to see 2.95 BILLION people on social media. What makes you think that people will actually fawn all over you just because you “think” you’re the shit. NEWSFLASH, it ain’t gonna happen. You need to give people content, you need to give people personality, you need to give people differentiation, you need to give people something that will make them say “Hey, I like what this person has to say, recommends, posts online”. You are just a needle in a haystack and in order to stand out you better realize that you gotta be in it 150%. Pictures of a product or outfit that 2 million other people have isn’t going to cut it. YOU NEED TO SHOW YOUR PERSONALITY. You need to be creative. People see through all the bullshit and if you are wanting to become a blogger because 1) you want to be internet famous or 2) you want free stuff, then I highly recommend not further diluting the influencer industry. When I started my blog, I had nobody to help my build my site, I had nobody to tell me what DSLR to use and how to use it, I had nobody to give me advice or pointers on how to grow my blog, I did all that on my own. The biggest thing that pisses me off to no extent is when people who want to be “internet famous” sit there and complain about how hard it is. If you truly want to be a blogger and you’re passionate about it then you WILL make those sacrifices, you WILL invest that time, and you WILL work your ass off to prove to people that you are in it for the right reasons and that you are worth following.
Numbers Don’t Mean Shit
Second pet peeve is when people focus on “the numbers”. It is not about how many likes you get, how many followers you get, how many tweets are retweeted or how many people follow your Facebook page. Say it with me everyone, QUALITY – OVER – QUANTITY. If you blog for the sole purpose of increasing your statistics, then you my friend, belong in the category right above of wanting to become “internet famous”. With hard word and dedication you can produce good quality content. By doing this, you’re able to show your personality through your online social media platforms or your blog’s site. This will attract followers to you. Don’t just post random unrelated crap for the sole purpose of getting likes and followers. Take the give-a-shit factor into consideration. When you post something, why should people give a shit? Even after 4 years I still sometimes don’t check my stats on my analytics page or my social media. I mean why should I? What difference does it make whether I get 100 views a month of 10,000 views a month? If I am blogging for the right reason then this should NOT affect my work. I blog because it is what I enjoy, its what I love, its what I’m passionate about. Numbers don’t mean anything at the end of the day because if you’re producing quality content then that alone will get people to come to you. Also be supportive of others. Just because someone with 150 followers on IG followed you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow them back because their follower count may be “beneath you”. If they post good quality content, why not follow them back. Remember that you were there at one point in time so help each other out and let’s grow the blogging community with real passionate bloggers. And now Una, back to you!
We hope this helped anyone who wants to start/has started blogging and that we have brought some attention to a couple of issues that I know have been bothering many amazing bloggers in the blogosphere!
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