Want to start blogging?
Hello, aspiring bloggers. By reading this post, I am guessing you have or are thinking about starting a blog?
I know before I decided to take the plunge I looked at other sites and wondered if it was for me? In today’s post I want to give you a little bit of an insight into blogging, what to expect and the reasons I decided to give it a go.
I receive lots of messages asking me for advice on how and if to start a blog, my advice is always, ‘yes, go for it’. I am all about empowering other women with the same passion as myself to want to give it a go.
Today, I am not going to go into the actuals of how you set up a blog or website, but if that is what you are looking for, my one piece of advice is self-host, self-host! If you’d like to see a post dedicated to how to set up a blog, please do message me as I’d be happy to create this content. What I am going to talk about is the reality of blogging, and what it is really like to manage a blog. I am by no means trying to put anyone off taking the plunge, I just want to give you a realistic view of what it takes – so here goes.
So I’m a blogger and a very part-time blogger at that. I work full-time so I have to fit any blogging commitments around my evenings and weekends which isn’t easy! I have a posting schedule that I am now around 4 weeks behind on and my first words of wisdom for you are, blogging IS time-consuming – and content is king, therefore, you have to make sure you have the time to dedicate to creating content that will drive both engagement and traffic to your site.
With the above in mind, before you get started on this little journey, the first thing to ask yourself is why? What are the reasons you want to start putting your thoughts down on ‘virtual paper’? If its to become the next Zoella or make blogging your full-time career, stop right there!
Blogging is a time-consuming thankless task and like anything, success doesn’t happen overnight! There are thousands of beautiful blogs out there and the majority of the writers behind them do it only for their love of the beauty industry. Now don’t get me wrong, yes some people have made a very successful and profitable career out of blogging – but they are the minority.
Beauty blogging, in particular, can be very expensive. I sometimes think people come into this and think that they are going to be picked up by big brands and sent a huge array of free PR samples. Firstly, nothing is ever free! Have a think about the time it will take you to fully trial a product and the time to then write a review; that is your time right there, so these ‘free products’ actually cost you a lot in time and effort. You will probably receive communications from brands and be sent PR samples to try, but this doesn’t happen overnight – so be ready to invest a lot of your own money to generate content.
Above and beyond having products to review, let’s take a look at what you will need to actually work on your blog:
Laptop – Most of us have access to a laptop or a tablet of some sort, you do not need to go out and buy a fancy Macbook to blog, trust me, it’s just not needed. You will edit your blog on a web-based platform, so anything that can hold a decent internet connection and has keys to type with and you are good to go.
A smartphone or camera – When I started blogging I was using my iPhone 6. Whilst this suited me at the start, I soon realised if I was going to take my blog seriously I had to up my game with my photography. I invested in the Olympus Pen E-PL8 which is around £500 and a 45mm lens at around £200. You don’t need to invest in a better camera, but it does help. You can view the camera on my shop my Instagram page HERE.
A Domain Name and Hosting – Ok, so this you can buy pretty cheap. A domain name is usually around 0.99p for the first year. Hosting, if you shop around you can usually find a deal for under a fiver a month. I host with 1&1 and they have been fantastic so far.
Blog theme – Unless you a complete coding whizz and hats off to those that are, you are going to need a theme for your site. I use WordPress as my CMS system and whilst there are many free themes they just don’t offer the flexibility of a paid theme. I purchased mine from Pipdig for £40, and I cannot stress enough how much it was worth making the investment. Not only do they design beautiful blog templates, but they also offer fantastic support once you have purchased from them. The theme I use is Ghost Shell.
Photo editing apps – Yes there are lots of free ones, but if you want to get serious about your photo editing you will need access to something like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, for this you could be looking at around £40 a month.
So why did I start blogging? Since I can remember the beauty industry has been a real passion of mine. When leaving school I studied as a beauty therapist and did actively practice for around 4 years until I realised I wanted to return to university to pursue a career in business and marketing. Even though I changed career, my passion for the industry never faded. I was also looking for something that was just for me and combined my love of beauty and the skills I have gained from my professional career. It also gave me a space for my creativity – blogging was my perfect fit.
I was and still am an avid fan of beauty blogs but sometimes found them to only focus on the PR they had received and the latest product releases. Whilst this is great, I wanted to create a space that would talk all things beauty, big and small brands and products that people may not have heard of. I didn’t want to be another slave to the latest trend, but rather someone who just recommends products just like you would to a friend – I wanted to be real. Ok, so I may get strung up for this sentence but its how I felt and was a big driver in me creating mybeautifulobsession.com.
At the time of also starting the blog, I was going through a very tough time personally. 2017 let’s say, wasn’t my year and I needed something else to focus on, and it has been a godsend to keep me sane through some difficult times.
To cap this off, do I think you should do it? Yes, absolutely, just be ready to make no money, invest a lot of time and sometimes question why you even started.
If you have any questions, or would just like a bit of advice from a small time blogger like me, then please do get in touch over on my contact me page HERE.