Tips for starting a blog

I’ve been blogging over 3 years now, teaching myself everything there is know about blogging. I hadn’t a clue how everything worked but I knew that to be successful in PR I would have to have an understanding of how blogging worked. Google became my best friend as I hadn’t a clue about the tech side of blogging. I wish I knew some of these tips then before starting my blog so I wanted to share a few of my top tips with you. Last year I started a second blog ‘Where to next darling..?’ and used all these tips and found the second time round a lot easier. Blogging is always evolving and I love that because you are constantly learning and improving your skills. I’ve got a blog post about why I started blogging here.  As I work in PR for a beauty brand there are always a few things I love and hate about blogs. I’m more critical about other peoples than my own!

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My Tips for Blogging:

Use WordPress: 

Without a doubt this is one of the easiest platforms to use when blogging. There are loads of free themes along with amazing tutorials. No need to pay a designer when you can design your own site. Starting off it’s so scary but with the help of the tutorials you will be a wordpress pro in no time. I also recommend before your site goes live to have at least 3 articles up as you want to see what way your site will look.

Picking a name:

 This was the hardest part of setting up my second blog but what I did was use words that describe what I wanted the blog to be about. Write them down and match them together to see what fits best. The second blog is all about travelling with my other half so hence the name ‘Where to next darling..?’. Trust me this might take you ages so don’t worry and ask your family what they think of it, feedback is always good! Your name should reflect you and what you are going to write about. Don’t be too specific if you want to write about multiple topics as ‘Kate’s Beauty’, for example, would have limited me to just beauty. 

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Research your name:

The hard part is over and you have decided on a name for your blog. Check all social media handles and the URL, you don’t want to find out you can’t use it when it’s too late. 

Your blog layout:

Appearance is everything when it comes to blogging and I’m not talking about your own personal appearance. Having an aesthetically pleasing blog that is easy to navigate is key. Have separate tabs for your topics and always have a search bar. Easy to find email details and information about the writer behind the blog is so important. You would be surprised at the amount of people who don’t have these details on their blog.

Network: 

So your blog is up and running and you have a few posts up but not many people are reading you blog. Time to network! In every industry you should ALWAYS make time for networking. I never turn my nose up at the opportunity to talk to someone new or listen to what they say. I’ve been given so many opportunities through talking to people or writing back to people on my social channels. Now that you know the importance of networking, how do you do it?

Tip 1: Engage with Instagram accounts you like. Comment, follow and DM them for a chat!

Tip 2: Join Blogging Facebook Groups. On these pages you can interact with other bloggers, share your posts and become inspired. One blogging group that has inspired me endless times is ‘Into the West Blogger Network’.

Tip 3: Go to blogging events, network and make friends in the blogging scene. I have made a few amazing friends through blogging and I love it. Finding people who understand the industry and understand the importance of not cropping your shoes out of a photo is key! Irish Blogger Agency organises events for it’s members and I try to go to as many as I can. It’s great content for your blog, you get to work with brands and meet other bloggers. Another really cool event for bloggers is ‘BLOGGERCONF’ in Dublin!

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Contacting PR’s for ‘Free Stuff’:

This is a question that I get asked a lot because I work in PR for a beauty brand. This topic is also something that bugs the life out of me too. Blogging is not about getting ‘free stuff’ so if you started for that reason I’m afraid you won’t last. Just because you have a blog and  social media accounts doesn’t mean you can feel entitled in any way. When a brand reaches out to me I get so excited because I they have taken the time to research and look at my blog. I work with a lot of brands but it still means a lot when they take the time to read my blog. Develop your style of blogging before reaching out to companies, this will let them see that you are a good fit for their brand. I’m going to share a few tips from the PR side of me when it comes to reaching out to a brand.

Tip 1: Never, and I mean never refer to the product as a freebie. This will just annoy the PR as nothing is free, the company still have to pay for the product and postage out of their budget.

Tip 2: Be professional. Have a strong subject title. Introduce who you are and what your blog is about. Then ask for a sample or ‘X’ product to review on your blog.

Tip 3: Always include your blog link. I kid you not this happens and when it does I don’t email back. Harsh I know but if you can’t include the important stuff you just don’t make the cut.

Tip 4: Don’t forget social media handles and your followers. Have all the information ready for the brand to see.

Tip 5: Create a media kit. This will look super professional and the brand will know you are serious about blogging.

Tip 6: Always follow up with an email to say thank you and the blog post link of social media features using the brand.

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Create content for the love of it:

You want to be Ireland’s next superstar, honey you’re in the wrong business. Most of Ireland’s successful bloggers are in the industry at least 5 years if not longer. Be consistent and show your creative flare. Step outside the box and don’t be afraid of being different. Talk about topics you love and have a passion for. 

Social Media:

This is one of the most important tips for blogging. Having a good social media presence and style is incredibly important to succeed as a blogger. It takes time so don’t worry if it’s not ‘insta perfect’ just yet. Think before you post and share your blog posts regularly, even the old posts. Each social media platform is different and you will develop your style the more you post.

Never give up:

There have been times I’ve lost the love for writing and feel like shutting my blog down. When I feel like that I take a break, forget about social media and wait until I’m feeling passionate about it again. Never give up and look to others for inspiration when in time of need. Everyday I am inspired by fellow Irish bloggers and reading their posts always give me the kick I needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either from fellow bloggers. I’m always asking my blogger friends what they think of an idea or if something will work. Without their support the blogging world for me would be pretty lonely. Always remember to be consistent and be yourself because you know what, you are amazing!

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I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know if you have any feedback or need help. I’m always a DM away! In need of more tips? I read Michaela’s  blog post on her tips for devolving your blog, make sure to check out her blog on ‘Life of a Lady Bear’.

Stay Fabulous,

Love Kate x

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