5 Things I've Learned Since Starting a Blog
Here are five things I learned throughout my 1.5 years of blogging
Starting a Blog
I first started my blog when I was eighteen and would sporadically post about whatever I was in the mood for on any random day. With trial and error, I quickly learned that getting traffic to my site would require a lot of time and work. To be honest, I had no idea about the logistics of blogging. I mean I really had NO idea. I did not know how frequently I should be posting, I didn't know that I needed to use an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plug-in, I didn't know about affiliate links, and I knew just about nothing on the behind-the-scenes of posting photos to my blog. I literally started from scratch and I started completely on my own. I used and still use WordPress and I basically set up a standard site within a few days. I have always had a love for photography and I am a hard-working go getter so I thought starting a blog would give me endless opportunities for creating. I started working with ChloeDigital about 8 months ago and they gave my site a makeover and helped me install the proper plug-in's to generate more traffic and optimize my content. They also taught me the importance of Pinterest and consistency with blogging. I'm so happy and feel so accomplished with where I am now, but I still have a long way to go! This industry is so saturated and there are so many creative, and stylish people out there, you truly have to be cut-throat and have an eye for what works and what doesn't. Being one of the younger bloggers in the Los Angeles fashion circle, I wish I knew certain things when I first started my blog that I want to share with you now.
Blogging takes time, energy, and money. Success does not happen overnight. The long road can sometimes feel pointless and it may seem like no one is even reading the 400 words you just wrote on winter boots, but that is not the case! It's definitely a climb, but when you get to the top, the view will be worth it!
It is extremely important to keep your blog posts consistent so that your reader will want to come back for more and actually see more! If you post sporadically (like I used to) it is much harder to receive consistent traffic and you will have a harder time attracting the same people back again.
Photo placement, alt text, and size
Photos are what will motivate someone to engage in your blog posts. Photos should be crisp and clear, but not too big as that will slow your site down. What I have found to be the perfect photo size is anywhere from 4-6MB for fast loading. You should always showcase your photos in their largest size, not in a gallery. Alt text should be a description of what is in the photo. For example, if your photo is of a wooden bed with white sheets and gold pillows from Anthropologie, your alt text should say " Wooden bed with white sheets and gold pillows from Anthropologie by Julia Friedman." For this same image, the title should not be in a sentence form, but rather just stating the objects in the photo such as "wooden bed white sheets gold pillows Anthropologie Julia Friedman."
Using social media to gain traffic
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are your best free advertising places. You can now run sponsored posts for $5 on Facebook and Instagram and that is totally amazing! These social networks combined make out to be my biggest sources of traffic. Posting consistently on social networks and posting simultaneously to your social networks and your blog help get more people to your site. People want to know what is new and relevant at all times. If you can master using all these different platforms, traffic will undoubtedly increase.
I wouldn't want to read the same post with different photos and verbiage on different blogs. It is so important to create original content and to stay true to yourself when doing so. Create an editorial calendar before the start of each month so you can brainstorm ideas and plan out your posts ahead of time, and then set out to take the proper photos. I can't stress to you enough how important it is to manage your time properly and work efficiently!
By no means do i think I have mastered social media or blogging, like I said before, I have a ton of work to do and many goals I hope to achieve. I wrote this post to share what I have learned so far in efforts to inspire and help others if they are thinking of starting a blog, because I wish I knew these things before! If you have any questions at all I want you to know that I am happy to help and would love to hear your feedback as well!