22 February 2013, 10:56
Snapped shooting some Instax, by Jessica Roberts!
Hey, blogger babe: this is part six of a ten-part series, in which I tell you my top tips for kickstarting your blog & pushing it to the next level. I’ve also written about getting organised, demanding your worth, creating new features, setting goals & forming a blogger posse! (You can make it really easy on yourself by just clicking on the blogging tag! Enjoy!)
One of the wonderful things about blogging is the very low barrier to entry. As long as you have internet access, you’re away laughing!
You can go far with a blog on a free platform, some photos from your iPhone & a moderate amount of effort. But if you want to perform well, you need a bit of kit.
A good camera makes an enormous difference, though it won’t be much use to you unless you learn how to use it! (Make friends with your user manual & practice, practice, practice!) A smartphone which allows you to Instagram, tweet & Facebook on the go is invaluable. A fast computer, a Wacom tablet, & some cute head-shots can make such a huge difference. Using an Instax or Polaroid camera to take some of your photos can really add another dimension to your blog, too.
As tempting as it can be to use your iPhone for all your pictures, picking up your camera & actually using it is imperative! It adds a massive air of sophistication to your blog, & elevates it to a higher level. Think about your favourite blogs: one of the things you (probably) love most about them is that they use beautiful imagery.
There are a number of small things you can do to boost your blog too, like purchasing your own domain name, upgrading your layout & moving your blog to Wordpress.
Now, I know that doing all of these things may seem annoying, superfluous or indulgent, but there’s a method to my madness. When it comes to blogging, it’s just like what your English teacher said in school: “Show me, don’t tell me.” Blogging is such a visual medium, so if your site is hideous with blurry photos & a cheesy free layout, it will be judged accordingly.
The other thing is that I can guarantee you will feel 500% more motivated to write for your blog — & write great content at that — if you like the way your blog looks. I love my new layout, it makes me so happy, & I am thrilled to refresh it & see a new post appear. I’d had the same design for such a long time, & I was sick of the sight of it!
Making a few tweaks to the design has given me so much inspiration. Never underestimate the power of design on your happiness!
Additionally, I strongly believe in doing as much as you can on your own, & outsourcing the rest. A lot of bloggers are looking for anything that’s free, & I hate to tell you this, but you get what you pay for. PAY a photographer & get some great pictures for your about page. PAY a designer so your site looks clean & professional. PAY a copywriter if you’re having trouble coming up with the perfect bio. If you don’t have any money, trade!
The best way to run a business — & yes, your blog is a business — is to focus on what you’re good at, & delegate everything else. When you’re just starting out, that can be a big ask, & for a while you’ll have to wear multiple hats. But as you grow & your blog picks up steam, you’ll be able to work with people who are professionals… & it makes all the difference.
You can only go so far on a free template. When you start hearing the call to step up to the plate, put on your best shoes & DO IT!
You are your own best investment — & when it comes to blogging, doubly so! Click to tweet!