BLOGGING TIPS #1 - 5 things I wish I'd known when I started blogging

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So, I know this is a Fashion & Beauty Blog, but there are a few things I want to tell everyone, advice I can give from my experience with this blog to all those who have the same goal as me, make an income doing what they love. I chose blogging, because I wanted my voice to be heard, but... what if nobody reads your blog? Then it'd seem somehow pointless, don't you think so?

Just after almost 2 years, I'm kind of gaining an audience. I've invested hours writing, researching, learning how to edit on Photoshop, Premiere Pro, even doing HTML on my theme, all that and still it'd seem like that effort was just for my eyes to witness.  
Now, I've kind of found a way to make my content visible, and people are starting to recognise me as the girl with a fashion&beauty blog in my city, and that is priceless, it means I'm reaching somebody at least.

And all that is why I'm going to tell you 5 things I wish I'd known when I started blogging, so if you're just starting, these #MondayBloggingTips (I think I'm going to call it that way on Instagram & Twitter) will save you time and guarantee a better start than the one I had.

With no further introduction, here are my valuable tips & tricks from my personal experience:


1. THE IMPORTANCE OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT NAME
When I first started this blog, the name was "Miss Nocturnelle"... Why? What does it mean? It doesn't even sound right... 
Well, back then I didn't really know what name to choose, I was looking up MAC products, and an eyeshadow I really liked happened to be named Nocturnelle. Yeah... not a great story. So I obviously regretted my decision, and 5 months after I created my blog, I changed it. 
My blog started as a Fashion Diary. So Alina à la Mode sounded more appropriate. At least more than Miss Nocturnelle.
Now that I'm moving more into lifestyle, I think à la Mode is a little too fashion-oriented, but I'm working on a branding strategy to make it work. Lesson learnt? Choose a name you won't regret. Take your time thinking, and don't be afraid of asking friends or someone  you trust, sometimes hearing the opinion of somebody else is very helpful since we tend to "imagine" things differently from how they really are/sound in this case.
PD: Also, super important, before you take a name try on different social media if it's available, that means facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, pinterest etc. The ideal situation would be you having the same name or very similar as your domain in every single account you associate to your blog. Sometimes it is not possible, but at least make sure it is very very similar, remember it is going to be your brand!

2. BEING SOCIAL ON SOCIAL MEDIA
This seems like a stupid advice, but honestly, do we invest enough time to be social on our social media? Sometimes we only use them to post the link to our Blog entry, but do we really socialize? 
I never realized how important it is to build a small community. 
You don't have to be on every single social network, but you sure need to learn which one works best in your favor. Right now most of the traffic I receive on this blog comes from social media (and images, but I'll explain alt tags in another blogging tips entry). And Specifically from Pinterest. Twitter seems to be the one I've neglected the most, and even if some will tell you it is super duper important to have a large following on twitter, I just never developed a liking towards it. I'm more visual, I'd rather be Pinning stuff, or spend time on Instagram (I'll talk about this one in the next point a little more).  Facebook is very useful too, though I don't have many "likes" on it. I should pay more attention to it probably. But what I'm trying to say is, use social media not only to be heard, but take the time to get to know the REAL people that are following you, who read your content and are interested in it. 
Having a large following might be impressive to some, but if you don't interact with them it won't take you far. I'd rather have less followers but know that they want to read, what they like about my blog, how to keep them happy and in that way grow surrounded by friends who truly feel my blog is part of them too. 
So, always remember to be nice, reply to comments as often as you can, and sometimes use social media to ask followers what they want to see.

3. KEEPING A THEME / FINDING YOUR STYLE
With this one specifically I've struggled a lot. I'm not a graphic designer nor photographer. I know that I like clean lines and somewhat washed out colors  when I dress, and aesthetically speaking I enjoy black and white on my blog. But I'm no photographer, and the pictures I take for my blog sometimes don't turn out the way I like. So yes, I watch Youtube tutorials to get them done always a little better, and I know that someday they'll truly reflect my personal style.
Also, this  applies to Instagram. I'm sure most of you already know the benefits of having a "theme" on Instagram. It can truly help you to grow your Instagram following (more in a next post) and that is possible audience to your blog!
I'm very much into minimal styling, right now I don't think my pictures or Instagram truly reflect that. But I'm working on it to figure it out, and do it more naturally. And so should you, find your style, stick to it, and keep the same theme over social media, your blog template and the pictures on your blog post.

4. NOT UNDERESTIMATING THE POWER OF HQ PICS
When I started, I used my phone camera. It was a nexus 3 (Samsung Google). The quality of the images wasn't terrible, but it could've been better. Also, I had the bad habit of editing my pictures in apps I had on my phone, because Photoshop would intimidate me. But I learnt the hard way that if someone enters your blog, and it isn't visually appealing they'll immediately leave it (that will have repercussions in your bounce rate - something I'll explain on a different Monday -).
You don't have to be a professional Photographer, nor has your Blog have to become a photography Blog, but High Quality over grainy, dark, or blurry images are just way more appealing and people are going to wan't to look at it longer because it's beautiful, and then read, probably making you gain new followers.

5. SEO & OTHER TECHNICAL STUFF
Right now I'd recommend this: before you start a Blog, educate yourself in Search Engine Optimization. I'm no expert, by any means. But I had to learn it the VERY hard way, that it is OH SO important. Making your Blog SEO friendly is going to make it way easier for your content to be read and shared. You can't dream of making this your job without knowing what this is (I'm going to write about this as well, all the details etc. just not here otherwise this would be 10 pages long...), unless you're starting big and someone else takes care of your technical stuff (which most of us don't).

So, this is all for today, remember that I'll try to do this EVERY MONDAY, so stay tuned. Also, if you have other suggestions or tips and tricks, please share them as comments. I'm still learning and if you can teach me something I want to learn!

Anyway guys, thanks for reading. I love you, and bye!<3




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