I recently notice that I have been putting the "blogging tips" posts in hiatus for a long time. But for my friend who asked me a lot about blogging, I wouldn't have notice that. A lot of people interested in this hobby of mine, particularly my colleagues. I think for the fact that it is a hobby that earns you money, and can possibly turn into a full-time fulfilling career, everyone wants to give it a try. To be very honest, I do not earn much from my blog. In a month I get about RM600-RM800 which is enough to sustain my addiction for makeups and skincare. I haven't reach the point where I can quit my job and call myself a full-time blogger. This brings me to the first point:
#1 - Be mentally prepared
You have to set your expectation right and be prepared to go for it. If your intention is to earn money from your blog, you have to be prepared that you might not hit that target the first few months. You need a good array of content on your blog before you can start pitching to companies. And advertisements will only generate income if you have high readership and/or clicks. It all comes down to the quality of your content. The equation is pretty simple Good Content = High Readership = Advertisements = Money.
You also have to be prepared that you might be ridiculed because some people just don't get what you do. You may be seen as attention seeker (for constantly posting your content and stay relevant to your blogging subject matter) or a wannabe. If you have set your mind to do it, then just go ahead. There will always be people who aren't happy with whatever you do. All you have to remind yourself is, you owe no one any explanation. I always believe that if you're not committing a crime or do anything morally wrong, then there's nothing wrong with it. Everyone entitles to their own opinion, and you too entitled to pen down your opinion on your blog.
#2 - Test all the blogging platforms
I have read a lot of blogging tips online, but no one seem to bring this up. It is important for you to set up account in whatever blogging platform available - Wordpress, Blogger, Wix, Tumblr, Squarespace, etc. And it is also important for you to write a test post so that you have the feel of which platform suits you.
I always prefer Wordpress and Blogger over other platforms. For this blog, I am using Blogger. I like how Google integrate all its platform so that all the other Google services work cohesively with Blogger. For example, you will need Google Analytics to track your statistics, Google Adsense to monetize your blog and Gmail to alert you on any engagement activities on your blog (eg. new comment, new subscribers, etc.) One downside is Blogger only able to read HTML language whereas Wordpress is more flexible when you need to customize your blog look and feel.
Related topic: How to earn money from blogging
#3 - Read lots of blogs
You need to follow at least 10 blogs that are doing pretty well to learn from the best. Those blogs will feed you lots of inspiration. The more you read it, the more blogging skills and knowledge you will acquire. My favourite beauty blogs are Saudi Beauty Blog (got to know this blog when I was in Dubai) and The Beauty Look Book (her photos are amazing). For travel blogs, I will go for Alex in Wanderland and Travelettes. You need to find your own muse and "copy" some of the amazing work the other bloggers have done.
#4 - Prepare your tools
Some of the basic tools you need to blog are computer (laptop or PC) and a camera. My best advice is not to jump into buying expensive tools before you know what you want. Get a basic one first and slowly upgrade your tools when you know what you need.
Softwares are also great tools to invest in such as Photoshop, Canva, etc. Recently I have also bought a lightbox so that I can take pretty photos at night. It turned out to be a disaster piece. Will talk about that in another post.
#5 - Plan your content
Before you start, you have to have an idea of what you are going to write about and how frequent you would like to post. It is best to write it down and reference back when you are publishing your post. I have a long list of posts in my journal that I would like to blog about. Some of the content that I would like to write are:
- Uncommon traveling tips
- Why you need to have non-comedogenic skincare
- Korean beauty cult products
- All you need to know about pores
- Highlighter for tanned skin
- Everything Unicorn
and many more... I need to run a thorough research on some of the content, this is why I often take some time to post up my blog post. This brings me to the last point:
#6 - You need to sacrifice
There are some of the things you need to be willing to sacrifice. One of the things is time. Blogging is a time-consuming task. Some blog post needs a week to research, to photograph, to edit photos and lastly to draft. A good time-management skill is definitely needed here.
Sometimes I also sacrifice on my money when it comes to beauty products that I want to purchase. Because some beauty products will generate high readership, I had to get it for the purpose of review even though I don't need it. One example is the Daiso beauty product posts where I spent almost RM40 just to try out the stuff and post it on this blog. You might think that is not a lot of money spent, but there are many times I have spent money purely to create content on this blog. I do not track how much I have spent, but I am sure it is pretty a lot.
If you are planning to start a blog, I hope those tips will help you. And if you have any questions regarding blogging, you may comment below and I will try to answer it. I am not an expert when it comes to blogging. But with many years of experience, I am sure I am able to help you a little (at least).