19.10.17

3,912 hours of blogging + tips for beginner bloggers

Important tips for beginner bloggers 2017, underaytedray
I created my first blog in 2009 on the Blogger Platform with little to no plan on how to go about creating content. As with most things without proper planning, it did not work out. Also, I was about start uni so I decided to give it up. I honestly wish I didn't quit it.

School took me about 6 years to complete (I went for a masters degree after my Bachelors) but I always knew my creative side couldn't be tamed for a long time. So here I am blogging again in 2017 and sharing blogging tips for beginners.

Not knowing what to do with myself after school had a lot to do with why I'm back blogging. I could be writing a book but I chose blogging instead. I wanted something fun I would commit to- something that would also allow me express myself however way I please.

1. Blog Name

I won't lie, I had a really hard time coming up with one. I love my surname but I didn't have a ring to it in combination with Ray, so I had to come up with something. I wanted something that wouldn't put me in a box. I avoided names that included fashion. life, beauty and such. I'm someone who is passionate about a lot of things so I opted for something that sounded good to me with a little quirk as my personality tend to be. Needless to say the pun in 'Unde-ray-ted Ray' was much intended.

If you love the sound of your full name with a .com attached to it, then you are indeed very lucky. It is one of the best options for unison in branding. Your name + Your Face + Your Blog =  Your brand.

Although, if you decide to opt for something else then that's your chance to go to town and come up with whatever you want. One way to find options is using name generators which you can easily google search.

2. Blog Design

Designing this blog seems never ending or maybe I'm just too picky. Since the time I started this blog back in May, I have changed my theme over 20 times with a mixture of free and paid-for themes. Perhaps it's a shameful thing to admit to but nothing really suits my vision. Of course there's an option to pay for a customised theme to achieve the look you want but you may be set back a good $700-$1.300.

Also, because this blog was created using the Blogger platform, themes were a little subpar to Wordpress themes which easily look professional. If you are a blogger who wants to make money off blogging you need to make sure you look the part. As with anything on the internet, your look is your first impression.  That is what will determine if readers come back and the caliber brands that will work with you.

You can however, get really cool themes from Etsy, CreativeMarket and ThemeForest. They have a wide variety to pick from. The Etsy ones come a little cheaper than the other two. One other place you can look for that polished clean minimal look is Pipdig. I really recommend them. I am in the process of switching platforms which will be handled by Pipdig.

3. Self host or not?

I'd say skip all the hurdles and go straight away into self hosting. That's if you are really sure about blogging. However, if you are just testing the waters then I will suggest you use free platforms which allows you to pick a domain name for free, register it and start creating content.  Blogger and Wordpress offers this.

Two important factors to note is that you will have a .wordpress.com or a .blogspot.com attached behind your domain name. You can give it a go for a short while but I recommend you buy your own domain name from the start to avoid redirection horrors at a later time. Also, it is brilliant for a polished and professional look. Second, if you opt for a free version of wordpress you will not be allowed to monetise your blog.

I started on Blogger, still using it but I'm in the process of moving to Wordpress.org for more flexibility and to bring to life that vision of mine.  A rebranding if I may.

Self-hosting allows you control over your blog and to manage it however you please. Using ads, cool blogging plugins and being in control of your blog security is all in your hands. Aesthetically, they have all the cool looking premium themes. Technically, they allow you easily optimise your blog posts for search engines which benefits how you rank in searches.

To self host, check out these platforms: Wordpress.org, Wix.com, Squarespace.com to name a few. For hosting plans, you can purchase one from BlueHost, Siteground or Godaddy etc. Do your research to chose the one that will work best for you.

4. Choosing a niche

Most people usually have an idea of what they want to blog about before anything else. There's so much you can blog about. Fashion, beauty, travel are one of the most common niches. I love these because there's no limit to what you can write about.

It is okay to have multiple interests as I do. I simply write whatever I fancy and feel like sharing but I don't stray too far.I keep it around general lifestyle topics.

Choosing a niche is very important in attracting target audience. A lack of content focus will generate a divided audience. You may have difficulty knowing what your readers really like to read, some posts may really do well and others won't because not everyone is reading each one you put out.

5. Creating content

To some this may be the easy part and to some this may be the hard part. It all depends on how easy inspiration comes to you. I personally keep a journal of ideas for when the writer's block hit. Register an account on Pinterest. It is a way to achieve a stream of evergreen inspiration. Another of my favourite is Bloglovin.

As a creator, you want to create original content. It is okay to get inspiration from other bloggers written posts but DO NOT plagiarise, take an idea make it your own but putting your own spin on it. It looks bad on if you do and your page may be reported and Google will penalise you for it.

Also, it benefits your readers if you have a designated day and time you chose to upload posts. I normally upload biweekly on Mondays and Thursdays. This way, your readers will be aware of when to expect new content from you. Everything that works on a schedule typically have a good outcome.

6. Creating time

What I've come to learn is how time consuming blogging is especially for beginners. From creating content to promoting your blogs across your social media platforms, to researching how to blog better. It takes a lot of time. Blogging is one of those things that the amount of time you put in it shows in the outcome. It makes all the difference.



22 comments:

  1. These are some really good tips. It's cool to hear about your story, and it's awesome that you're right back in the blogging grind. You're doing great!
    http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

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  2. You've presented some great points here about blogging. It really is something that requires time and effort and I've thought of giving up more than once, but blogging really grounds me in so many ways! Thanks for sharing such great info!

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  3. What you have mentioned are really true. Nicely collated.You are not alone, I have also started my blog recently and sailed the same boat. Its been only a couple of months and I had a hard time to comeup with the name and still thinking about improvising the theme. :)

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  4. I still feel like a fairly beginner blogger and these tips are great to keep in mind. It took me close about 6-8 months of brainstorming a blog name, domain and what my niche would be.

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  5. I am a new bloger also and before i started i never imagined it takes so much time and energy! but the path goes where the will is so you will see more of me! :)

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  6. I can only agree to your points mentioned. For me it's important to go with a self hosted site as you're more flexibel. And gosh yes! It is all so time consuming but I really love doing it. Have a great week

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

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  7. Great recommendations, these tips would help any blogger
    New post:https://thepinkpineappleblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/14-blazer-plaid-for-this-season.html

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  8. oh gosh i remember I went through about three other blog names before settling one 'the one'. it took me literally a year of contemplation and figuring my blog out before settling on a name. It really is a difficult one.
    Great post dear!
    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

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  9. Time is what's getting me the most lately! It is so enjoyable though. Nothing is more satisfying than creating aesthetic content!
    xx Leah

    www.fashtrav.com

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  10. This post is perfect. Thank you for your hints. It´s a pitty that you stopped Blogging. I think you have a great potential.
    xx Vera
    https://simplelivingstylebyvera.blogspot.co.at/Meditation

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    Replies
    1. Oh thank you! I intend to carry on this time :)

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  11. These are amazing tips!
    Vanessa x | www.springlilies.com

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  12. This is quite a nice read dear. Really good tips you have here.Blogging indeed, takes so much time, especially when you're starting. But seeing the results is just worth it.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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    1. Thanks a lot! That's really encouraging as I'm enjoying the growth. Blogging has grown on me I can't think of something else I'd rather be doing.

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  13. Love this, really good tips. I started my blog during uni as it was one of the requirements for posting our work (I studied Journalism & PR), but I wish I'd known how to perfect my aesthetic. Still a learning curve for sure!

    www.pollysnell.com

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    Replies
    1. I love the aesthetics of your blog. Really pretty.

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  14. Good tips. So many things to consider when starting a blog!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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