How To Start A Blog

I have been blogging for close to 4 years now, and I get asked on a weekly basis how to start a blog, how to grow a following, etc. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but I have had a lot of trial and error in the past four years.

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears over the knee boots and talks about how to start a blog

Please, PLEASE, hear me out on a few things.

  1. Blogging is not an XYZ formula. Something that may work for one blogger may not work for you.
  2. Treat your blog as a business. I will be brutally honest here; blogging is NOT all sunshine and roses. This is a business, and if you want to be successful, you need to act, think and be a business.
  3. Do you boo. I think it is great to have mentors and to seek advice, but take things with a grain of salt. The more you focus on what others are doing/not doing, the more you will get sucked into what doesn’t matter. Focus on YOUR BRAND.
  4. Know your What, Why and How. What are you doing? How are you doing this? And Why are you doing what you are doing?
  5. IG, Facebook, Twitter, among other social networks are great. BUT YOU DO NOT OWN THEM. Your IG can be hacked, or just like MySpace; it can go away. Focus on what you own. Your blog, your newsletter.

I polled on Instastories and asked you guys to send me your Q&A’s all things blogging related. I got so many questions on how to start a blog, that to answer all of them at once would be too much.😝

For the first part in this series, let’s talk blog related. We will cover all things social in a next blog post.

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears over the knee boots and a tweed dress

How did you start your blog?
I first thought about a name. I wanted my blog name to be something that would grow with me, and something that was unique. Something that was me.

Once I found a name for my blog, I purchased my domain with a host and set up my website. I made sure to take all social handles with the same name as well. After that, I started creating content. Other things to consider and do when starting your blog;

  • Set up Google Analytics
  • Get your Search Console up and running
  • You need to make sure you are in compliance with GDPR
  • Get your DBA or LLC
  • Trademark your blog name
  • Get an EIN for your business
  • Learn anything and everything about SEO.

If blogging for you is going to be a hobby, then great! If you want it to go somewhere, you need to think long-term. Don’t start a blog for the sake of it. Save yourself the time and the late nights.

Who created your website?
My website was designed by Carrie from Carrie Loves. And my site is now managed by Chloe Digital.

Where and how can I create my website?
First, you need to find a host for your website. I use Siteground, other hosts are Bluehost, or GoDaddy (those are just to name a few). Once you have your blog name and your domain (Tip: make sure it’s not trademarked or already taken) you design your page.

Etsy is an excellent place for templates, but I would recommend investing in someone who can customize your site, so it’s unique. If you’re not as savvy with coding like I am, I would suggest outsourcing.

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears over the knee boots and a denim jacket for a fall outfit

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears over the knee boots and a tweed dress

Who helps manage your brand and blog?
Me, myself and I… until a couple of months ago. I’ve started outsourcing, it all got a little bit too much for me.

I have a manager that handles my collaborations. Blog Savvy Creative manages my Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Michelle edits my videos. And, I finally found a friend to help me with IG.

Is it ever hard to find content?
Yes and no. Getting writer’s block is easy. I am always looking for inspiration around me. Magazines, Pinterest, my life. I also love paying attention to trends and what’s going on in the fashion and beauty world.

Your readers will be the easiest way to find out how and what kind of content to create. Polling your readers is a great way to find out what they want to see more of.

How did you get your name out there?
Networking…. and time. You have to be patient. It will not happen overnight. Produce quality content, and focus on your SEO. It will take time, but it can happen.

How long does one blog post take to publish?
One blog post can take 3-8 hours. Yup. You read that right. In between shooting, editing pictures, writing, adding links, and then sharing it on social channels. It’s not a let me throw a post up real quick. I wish it was though🤣

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots and a Gigi New York Bag

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots and a Zara tweed dress

What camera/lens do you use?
I use a Canon 5D Mark IV for my pictures and video. I have two lenses, I have a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 and an EF 35 mm f/2.

What do you use to edit your pictures?
I use Lightroom to edit all my pictures.

How often do you suggest to post?
For your blog, I would suggest posting at least 2x a week. 3x a week would be ideal. BUT, if you can’t produce QUALITY content, don’t post something to post.

How long into blogging did it take you to see a significant rise in readership?
Not until last year. It takes time to get your readers to trust what you are sharing. The moment I let go of the IG game and focused on my content and creating what I was TRULY passionate about did I see growth.

How do you make outfit collages?
I know a lot of people who use Canva, or photoshop. But I’m a simple girl, and I use PicMonkey. Works for me, and why fix what ain’t broke?!

How do you find the time to blog with kids?
Nap time, late at night, and early mornings. This is something that is REALLY hard to manage. Working from home and with the kids is a very, very hard thing to accomplish.

Do you have a management company you work with or do you do your own PR?
Like I mentioned above, I do have a manager that handles my collaborations, but we both work at getting collaborations and reaching out.

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears a J.Crew denim jacket and Gigi New York Bag

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears Stuart Weitzman over the knee boots and a Zara tweed dress

How do I pitch to brands?
Keep it short and sweet. Don’t send an email out to brands or companies to get free things. Have an editorial pitch, how will you showcase the product? How will you tell a story? Make the ROI for the brand you’re pitching worth it.

Can you share more about affiliate links?
There are SO many affiliate networks out there. I do have affiliate links on my blog, but it’s not something I am heavily focused on.

As you can see I don’t have many ads on my website. I care very much about user experience. I also work too hard on my images for ads to break them up. For me, I do not like going on a website and having ads clutter up what I am looking at. So, it’s not something I do on my site.

Who is your favorite blogger?
My absolute favorites are:
This Time Tomorrow
House Of Harper
Memorandum
Merrick’s Art
… to name a few.

Houston fashion blogger Elly Brown wears a J.Crew denim jacket and Gigi New York Bag

outfit details: dress (similar) / top / jacket / boots / bag / earrings

Thank you so much for stopping by, have a great day!

 

xoxo,

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