Since starting Bagful of Notions in October, I've been asked by a few people what inspired me to start blogging and if there's any advice I can offer. I have a passion for writing and I think I found a knack for it back in sixth grade. My teacher, Mrs. White, was a positive force and influence; she made me feel like I had a voice. It's important to have those sorts of moments in life, because it drove me to study journalism in college. My background/education is in news writing and television production (media, if you will) - even though it's something I don't pursue professionally here in Australia, I'd like to think my blog serves as a medium to get people open to trying new things. Plus, it's an added bonus that I get to talk about makeup here instead of writing about the depressing goings-on of the world. Do not think of this as denial on my part, better yet, think of this as a healthy version of escapism from life in general. An oasis of makeup, beauty and my inner monologue. I received an e-mail late yesterday from musings about muses asking me the following:
I'm only starting out and would love some tips if you have any??
My thoughts began to flow - here is what I responded with…
- Know your audience, better yet, who is your target demographic?
- Read blogs similar to your own for ideas and for things you might want to avoid
- Take awesome photos - macro photography and lighting are keys to success
- Be original in an extremely saturated market - set yourself apart from others
- Market your brand via social media; e.g. Twitter, Instagram, etc.
- Bloggers are always offering words of wisdom, read what they have to say about how they got started
- Comment, a lot! And make sure it's pertinent to what you just read. Never go to someone else's blog and say "visit me here...."
- Guest blog - I did!
- Post as much as you can
- Never give up, that's what I've been told. It can take a while before you start to see any benefits from the fruits of your labor
- Stay informed - read about cosmetics and visit beauty counters. Get to know artists and don't be afraid to pick their brains
- Be willing to invest time and money, but keep your life in mind
- Be a cheerleader for bloggers you admire and get to know them
- Always give credit where/when credit is due.. never claim something as your own when it's not
I have no idea what my readership is like and that's ok; I'll worry about analytics and search engine optimisation when the time is right for me. Until then, I'll harass (kindly) the likes of Karen, Christine, Lilit, Holly and Sasha in the comments section on their sites. They serve as a compass for me and inspire me to be a great writer. Blog with your heart, remember that your Mom, Dad or both might be your primary audience to start and be the original drummer who goes as wild as Animal.