One of my most frequently asked questions through email or Instagram DMs would definitely be how I got started blogging or how I created my website. Today I want to share absolutely everything I know (albeit, not much) about blogging.
Three years ago this May, I made up in my mind that I was going to jump in. I had been wanting to start one for a while, but I experienced what most of you reading this post are currently experiencing… fear. The fear of the unknown is what usually holds me back in so many areas of my life. I didn’t want the announcement of me starting a blog to look like I thought that I had the best fashion sense or that I just wanted to constantly take pictures of myself for all to see. I really just wanted to share things that I was passionate about. Fashion and skincare are things that I could discuss for hours with my friends, so I wanted to have an audience that enjoyed the same things! I wanted a place where I could share if I found a great deal on a top or maybe a new skincare product that had given me incredible results. I had no idea what or if it would become anything, but I knew I wanted to try.
Three years later, here we are. I am sharing about everything I mentioned above, but now including something I am newly passionate about.. healthy recipes! But above all of what I mentioned, I want to be sharing the light of Jesus Christ. I hope that by each comment, or each photo, that people can truly see Him through me.
When I decided I was actually going to do it, I literally just opened my laptop and typed into the YouTube search bar, “How to Start A Blog”. I watched several videos, but the one that I actually followed thoroughly what this one by Greg Narayan. He walks you through everything from getting your domain registered to actually creating your blog on WordPress. Also, he has this video that is updated for 2017!
Next, you may want more of a modern, sleek website design than what WordPress offers, and there are tons of websites that offer them. You could buy them or get them for free. Just search what fits your design idea and budget. My website design is very simple, and it is from PipDig. Once you purchase a theme, it downloads to your computer with a file teaching you how to do install it on your website and is fairly easy! Just remember, if you feel like you are in over your head at first, it is normal. Stick to it! I promise it will become easier with time.
Building your Audience
The question of this day and age is, “How to gain more Instagram Followers” and truly, I got pretty lucky. I will, however, tell you everything I know to help you out.
The #1 thing I recommend to people when they ask me this is ENGAGEMENT. That is the big word these days with Instagram. Because of the new algorithm, if you do not like or comment on someones posts much, it is likely that their photos will not show up in your feed. It’s seriously crazy. So building an audience that is going to engage with your content is KEY. In my opinion, the main ways you achieve this are:
- ALWAYS be authentic (people can tell if you really don’t like something that you are promoting)
- Talk about things YOU are passionate about (these first two go hand in hand, but if you do not truly love the topics you are sharing with your followers, they will see that and will move on to someone who does)
- ENGAGE with OTHER blogger’s who have similar content (and therefore, similar audiences) I know that there have been many times I discovered someones blog by reading another blogger’s comments! BUT comment authentically, not just to get your name out there. This is a big no-no for me.
- Share about YOU. People want to see a face behind the pretty pictures. It just helps them connect with that page more. Don’t be afraid to let people see you and the real you.
- HASHTAGS. Listen carefully, you do NOT need 30 hashtags on each picture. I recommend (and others that I have read about) recommend 4-5 and put them in a comment right after you post the photo so that you do not clog up the caption. My most-used ones are #modestfashion #modesty and then I tag a couple of the brands I am wearing.
Those are just a few tips, but I hope they help you get the picture!
The great thing about Instagram is that people DO want to see real life. I usually get a significantly more amount of likes on outfit pictures that I just snap in the mirror than my professional high-quality images. Therefore, I tend to post more of those! You also need to carefully study what your followers respond well to!
I use my iPhone 7+ for 95% of my photos (Instagram) and the other 5% are photos I publish on my blog and are taken with either my fuji X-T20 (35mm Lens) or my Canon 80D (with a 50mm lens).
I edit ALL of my pictures with 3 apps. I start out by uploading the picture in the app VSCO and choose a filter (normally A6). I then change the exposure, contrast, warmth, and saturation to my liking. Then I always sharpen the photo a little to give it a pop.
The other two apps aren’t always a part of my process, but the next step would be uploading the photo in FaceTune. My favorite feature in this app is the whitening tool. I don’t even use this for my teeth, but the walls! If I am in a white room or next to a white wall, usually the editing can make it look a little yellow, so this is where I make it a bright white. 🙂 I also LOVE the patch tool. If there is a weird sign or chord on the ground I can take it out using this tool. It takes some practice, but I use it very often now.
The third app is Snapseed. My favorite feature in this app is the selective tool. You can select a certain area in the photo to adjust instead of the whole picture! I like to select just my hair usually to brighten it up! Since I have brown hair, the color and details can get hidden in-picture. 🙂
THANK YOU for reading along, and I wish you all the best if you are wanting to start this journey! Lastly, I want to say please do not get discouraged. Do it because you love it and if it turns into an actual job, that is amazing! I do it now because I love interacting with the people who follow me from all around the world. This blog has been such a blessing to me, and I hope that in some way I can be a blessing to you all.
Have a wonderful day.