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Monday, 27 October 2014

How to start a Blog I Blogging Tips of the Trade #1

Since i've started blogging i've been constantly building up my knowledge of the internet (photos,layout, htmls ect. ect.). So  i thought i would start a series of blogging tips and advice. Obviously this will take time as i am still building my knowledge and skills so this series will probably be never ending!

Bearing this in mind it is near impossible to explain stuff like this so bear with. I am going to try to write stuff that makes sense but i can't guarantee anything. I can give you the basics and some vague instructions but at the end of the day it's your blog and whatever you do is down to you. Don't feel like you HAVE to do any of this stuff. There is however stuff you have to do (like naming your blog, come on idiot you wouldn't get very far without that now would you). So vague instructions and hopefully a helpful post coming your way!!!

The VITAL question:

Yes i know you came to my blog looking for assistance and now i'm asking you whether you want to blog. Well it's not as dumb sounding as you may think. I started my blog thinking i could just write down a couple of things in a week and occasionally get something sent to me in the post. This is not the case. Blogging is soooooo much more then that. You have to work at it, get the right background, gadgets, html and you have to work to make your blog right. So before you click the "create blog" button, just think it through.


So you've asked the vital question now your going to start your blog. But where do you start? Blogging isn't as simple as creating an email account. First you need to pick a program to run on. I use Blogger also known as bloglovin. This is the most popular program which will get you more views. The other popular program is WordPress but that's for the more html type person. Don't know what a html is? Stick with Blogger!!


Here comes the second most important thing in your entire blog. Your name. Now i started with the longest name in the history of the world "the world according to Humphrey".THAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE I EVER MADE!!! Try to keep your blog name to 2 words at the most. Make it catchy and cute. Something people will remember. Although your favourite quotes sound cute like mine is:
"happiness is a choice"
Catchy - yes,  Cute - yes   Did i pick it - no. You can put the quote somewhere else on your blog like as a sub header or at the end of every post you write. If i had the imagination and time to design you all the perfect name i would, but quite frankly i have neither!! So just play about with words. Things that rhyme and sound catchy. People you loves names strung in with some random inanimate objects.
Then comes the hardest part. Your URL. I didn't realise you could put your URL as the same thing as your blog address so for a while it was Humphrey3451.blogspot.com. Not catchy, easy to remember or related to anything on my blog. Put your URL as the same as your blog name. However if it's already taken (stupid god damned person stealing it like that) take out a few letters. But whatever you do, AVOID NUMBERS!!!!!
So instead of humphreysworld.blogspot.com
I had put humphreyworld.blogspot.com because some annoying person already stole it!!


I realise I'm jumping ahead a bit but this is really vital. I didn't actually do anything to my template for about a month. Big mistake!!! The first thing you do before even considering writing a post is going to the template section and flipping design your blog. Now you can change the layout as much as you like so don't freak out when you first start your blog because you are going to want to change it as time goes on. Although you should work hard to find a layout you love and then stick to it. People like to have a layout to go with a name. For example everybody knows Zoella because she never changes her blog. Also it can be alarming if somebody clicks onto you blog to find a complete different set up ."Is this even the right blog?"
There are LOTS of layout No No's

-busy font. for example different colours for different sentences and paragraphs
-black with white font - NOOOOOO!!! Do not go there!! It is scientifically proven that people are put off by that combination.
-clashing colours - Red font with a pink background, yellow header and orange gadgets? No thank you!
- having things all over the place. Try to keep links with links and gadgets with gadgets ect. ect. Use pages to organize things !!!
- make it the same as every body else's. Nobody likes a copy cat. Try and make your blog unique to you by creating your own header.
You don't need to avoid all of these obviously! If you can make them work then please go ahead!!


I'm not exactly the photography wiz am I? MY STUPID iSTONE!!! Before you start blogging get a camera! I'm saving up for the Canon EOS 600D and I should've done that a while ago!!
Editing is my savior now. My favourite program is FotoFlexer. It's completely free and has amazing stuff on it!! It is what I used to edit my photos for the Christmas Shopping post i did and the September Wishlist post. When you are editing photos make sure you do 2 things

- keep the colour of the product the same if you are reviewing something (don't put on a ton of filters that make a pink lipstick red!)
- don't go crazy with backgrounds and font and cutting and sticking. Keep it simple. Believe me they'll thank you for it!!
- Get good lighting. That doesn't mean spend hundreds of pounds on studio lights!! Just spend time during the day to get the pictures taken when the sun is streaming through the window. Or if your using your camera at night get a bright white bulb (not the weird yellowy ones) and set up in the brightest room in your house. E.G the bathroom.

When you are taking photos make sure you do these things and your one step towards high quality pretty pictures

Posting Stuff:

You may work super hard on your layout and own the swaggiest camera around but if your not great and actually writing the posts then .... your screwed. Blogging is about expressing yourself through the internet. But remember if expressing yourself means re-writing a drilling manual then your not gonna get many followers. The posts are the main attraction of your blog so take time writing them. Don't be afraid of writing about your favourite book because no-one else likes it or feel like you have to write a good review about some lipstick if you hate it. As long as your blog is interesting anything goes.
Lots of bloggers prefer "the easy way out". This includes copying others posts or writing the shortest posts of all time.

Exhibit A

This lipstick is really good and has nice pigmentation. Buy it if you want the best lipstick ever.

Ok so that took about 3 seconds to write and about a minute to find the picture on Google images and voila!! NOBODY wants to read a blog written by someone who just wants to get on with it and then do something more "interesting".
When you are starting out blogging you will want to know as couple of things:
-Your not an expert and a month from when you write your first post you will delete it
-Writing will not come naturally. I find it hard to make my blogs interesting so take time thinking up how to make it funny because sometimes it just doesn't come to mind immediately
-There will be better blogs and it's okay to take inspiration from them but DO NOT copy.
If you are struggling for ideas on what to write simply go onto bloglovin and go into the popular post section., select a category and there will be hundreds of individual posts at your finger tips!! When you are on a burst of inspiration note down your ideas and write them up while you can be bothered because on some days you just won't want to and that's okay. If you are really struggling then ask somebody to guest post on your blog so you can have a little bit of time to think of some ideas.


NEWS FLASH!! You are not going to become popular over night!! Prime example
I have 16 followers. That's it and that's fine. I know that I am not going to become as popular as Zoella over night. Work hard on your blog and take time to improve it and the followers will come to you .I find that the easiest way to gain followers is to read as many blogs as possible and leave as many comments as possible. The more regularly you pop up in somebody's comments box the more they will be intrigued by you and the more likely they will click the subtle link you put after you lovely comment. Another way of getting followers is email bloggers and tell them who you are. Tell them you love there blog and you would love to do some collaborations and become friends with them. You never know. One day they could mention you on there blog and BABABOOM!!

There's no direct answer to the question "how do i start a blog?" because everyone is different. Some people are beauty bloggers some are people who just write there opinions on things like "hedgehog well fair" and "the price of Asdas Sandwiches" (which is ridiculous!! I mean  come on £2.50 for a sandwich?). I have helped my friends start blogs by giving them banner advice and telling them how to get the bloglovin follow widget but I can't tell them exactly how and what to write.
If you follow some simple rules that I have lovingly been writing out for you for the past three hours then you'll be fine. Blogging isn't easy and for some people it doesn't work out. And it's okay if you follow all of these rules and people don't come and you don't enjoy it. Rule number 1 of blogging. You have to love doing.

How to start a Blog in a Nutshell

  • Decide whether you want to do it or not because it's not easy
  • Decide where to blog because you will be with that platform for the rest of your blogging life.
  • Decide a name that you love and is short and snappy. Remember you can change this later
  •  Have a nice clear layout that you love but will appeal to other people as well
  • Try your best to take good photos and edit things well but not over the top
  • Take time when your posting stuff. This took me 3 hours to write not 3 minutes!
  • Remember followers don't appear over night. Work hard for them and build up a relationship with the ones you do have.
  • Love what you do and if you don't, stop doing it. 

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