WHAT I WISH I KNEW WHEN I FIRST STARTED A BLOG.

Lately, the most FAQ in my inbox/Instagram DMs are “I’m a new blogger, what are some tips you have for me?”

This got me thinking. We live in such an online world these days, we online shop, influencers have taken over traditional marketing, and Instagram is where everyone is getting their inspirations from. Am I right?!

I feel like bloggers/influencers are a big thing these days. And now, not only are we seeing bloggers out there, but we’re also seeing Instagramers. Like, literally JUST for Insta. Which is cool. They’ve totally made a name for themselves on Instagram, and that’s pretty awesome. Brands are begging to collaborate with them.

WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE, RIGHT??

And if you’re not evolving with the times, you’re going to be left behind.

Anyway, I’ve been getting a ton of questions from new bloggers about branding, tips on the industry, website content, etc.

And because The Chic Confidential is all about sharing, I thought it would be a good idea to lay out some tips and trick for new bloggers. You know, things I wish I knew when I first started blogging.

I started blogging in University because I was in a fashion program and EVERYTHING was inspiring to me, and I needed a place to store all my inspos. After I ran out of pages on several scrapbooks, I decided it was time to move everything online. So a blog made sense. Back then, the blog was very fashion heavy. It was basically lots of OOTD photos and magazine cut outs that I loved. Since then, it’s evolved to more of a lifestyle blog with lots of different topics. I feel like more people can relate. You know?

Anyway, over the years I’ve done a lot of research about the blogging business, and the online world in general and I feel like I’ve grown as a bloggers/influencer. Of course, there is TONS more to learn, which is what’s super cool about the digital world. Things are ALWAYS changing and evolving.

Anyway, here are my tips:

  1. Purchase a domain.

First and foremost, purchase a domain from GoDaddy. When I first started, I had .blogspot.ca at the end of my URL. No one will take you seriously if you don’t have your own domain. And think about your blog name before you jump into creating your blog. Embarrassing note: My blog was first called ‘These Shoes Were Made For Talking” when I first started. LIKE, NO. Just NO.

  1. Take good photos:

Blogging is very visual. People love good content, but if your photos don’t match your content, no one will even read it. You NEED clear & catchy photos. Never put out a blog post that doesn’t have photography attached to it. You don’t have to have the latest SLR to get started. Cell phones do a great job these days. But wipe your camera lens and look at photography inspiration before getting started. Don’t half-ass your photos. And just know that lighting is EVERYTHING. Natural lighting people! It makes ALL the difference in the world.

  1. Quality over Quantity:

ALWAYS.  If you’re not up for writing a blog post, DON’T. The last thing you want is an uninteresting blog post. Make sure your blog posts are always fun and interesting. Never boring. We ALL get writer’s block or are sometimes just not feeling inspired. It happens to me wayyy too often. That just means you need a break. So take one, get inspired somehow, and come back to it.

  1. Find your Voice:

This is KEY! I struggled with this when I first started, because it’s hard! Sometimes I would write like a journalist (but I was NOT one) so it sounded weird. Other days, I would write in a story format, which was also weird, because it wasn’t me. Finally I decided to write like I speak, and well, that worked. It made sense to me, and people started to understand me and get to know the real me.

  1. Be yourself.

Because why the fuck would you be anyone else? If you’re a preppy chick, embrace that. If you’re totally nerdy, then let that shine. If you want to get controversial in your blogposts, I mean, go right ahead. YOU DO YOU.

  1. Engage with other bloggers:

If you don’t genuinely like or comment on other bloggers photos/posts, don’t expect them to do that on your page. I’m ALL about collaboration over competition. Yes, there are 5 million bloggers out there, and you need to find your light, but do it while rooting for all the other bloggers out there as well. I’m huge on engaging with other bloggers/influencers. It’s such a cool world to connect with people now. You can literally be BFFs with someone across the world through social media. I mean, if that’s not cool, I don’t know what is. Respond to comments, answer questions, tell people where you got those shoes from, help bloggers when they need your help.

  1. Don’t blog for the sponsorships:

If you’re intention as a blogger is so that you can get free shit and travel the world, let me tell you, you’re out of your bloody mind! That’s just NOT how this works. If this isn’t your passion, walk away now. Because I blogged for free for several years. AND I’M STILL DOING IT. Sure, sponsorships will come once your following goes up, but that was never my intention. It’s great to have long term goals, but you need to have the passion/patience, because it’s a slow climb.


Okay, so that’s my two cents on blogging.

BLOGGERS – what am I missing? Share in the comments. I hope this helps any new bloggers out there.

On another note, I’m actually speaking at InfluHints – a blogging/networking event on July 28th. It’s free to attend, so if you’re around, grab your tickets online. I’d also love to meet some of you!

Xx, kim

Follow:

40 Comments

  1. July 5, 2018 / 9:32 am

    Loved this post ! I think it’s so important to have a vision for your blog, some sort of direction. It helped me so much having a “niche” because I can be super all over the place and indecisive lol

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      HAHA – same girl! You’re not alone!

  2. July 5, 2018 / 10:05 am

    Finding my voice was really tough for me! I’m still settling into my niche but it was a struggle at first!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      It was a struggle for me as well! Keep at it! xx

  3. July 5, 2018 / 10:08 am

    These are all things I wish I knew as well! So helpful!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:25 pm

      Thanks for your comment! xx

  4. July 5, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Very good list. As a blogger I always suggest getting on Pinterest too. It’s free and such a good traffic source. Love your list.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      Definitely agree with that!

  5. Melisssa Wolvin
    July 5, 2018 / 10:22 am

    This is a great list! I would also say, blog about something you like, don’t worry about what you think people want to read. If you don’t enjoy it, it will show in your writing.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:26 pm

      100% Agreed!! I only ever blog about the stuff I love! Thanks for sharing. xx

  6. July 5, 2018 / 10:28 am

    I love your blog. As you said, blogging is very visual and as soon as I opened this page it gave me a sense of calm and quality. Keep it up!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      Nina! Thank you so much for that comment! xx

  7. July 5, 2018 / 11:03 am

    These are great points. I especially like 6 and 7. I think my biggest problem has been trying to apply everything and spreading myself too thin. So maybe I would add to stay focused on a few things (content, Instagram, pinterest)

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Totally! Staying focused is hard, because you want to be involved with EVERYTHING. But that’s definitely good advice!

  8. July 5, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Great article. I agree that you have to be yourself. You can find similar content all over the internet but that personal touch might be why people want to listen to what you have to say.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Yess! Thank you for your comment Ronan! xx

  9. July 5, 2018 / 11:54 am

    I wish I would have read this post 6 months ago. I started blogging around 5 months ago and I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. I didn’t realize how much time and work I would have to put into it or how stressful it can be. I’ve had to learn how to balance it all without getting overwhelmed.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Dont worry! I was ALL KINDS of overwhelmed when I first started. You just need to manage your time well. I work a full time job, and do this on this side. It’s manageable, trust me! xx

  10. July 5, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    So much common sense! Thank you! I’m a new(ish) blogger and I feel like every bit of advice is about SEO this or Affiliate that… and not nearly enough about content. I want 5 engaged readers with an open dialogue, not 100s of clicks with zero feedback.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      EXACTLY – I find that too often as well! Those aren’t the foundation of your blog. It’s all this stuff. Be as real as possible. xx

  11. July 5, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    These are all great tips for bloggers. Especially number 7, resonates most. With any job or passion an individual has, one must have a love for what they do. Blogging has its benefits but if one solely wants to write/blog for sponsorships, they should rethink. Love the post!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Thank you for your comment! And yes, I never did start blogging with the intent of getting paid. xx

  12. July 5, 2018 / 3:59 pm

    This is SO helpful. I especially agree with #4 – find your voice. I started my blog a few months ago and that is something that I am really working on. To add, establishing a editorial schedule has been really helpful for me.

    Thank you for this awesome insight!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Totally! That’s great advice, so thank you for that! xx

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      Thank you Sam!! xx

  13. Marcie
    July 5, 2018 / 10:52 pm

    I love your writing style! I also like to write how I speak because it feels the most natural. I’m going back through old blog posts to optimize and I wish I would have found my voice a bit earlier 🙂

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      That’s okay! It’s all a learning game! xx

  14. July 5, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    Super tips (and not just the ones you usually hear) for someone thinking about starting a blog, a new blogger, or someone looking to improve their blogging skills. I especially agree with your advice on quality over quantity – but maybe that’s because I’m the very definition of “slow blogging”, ha! Thank you for sharing your perspective!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:33 pm

      Haha – don’t worry, we all can be sometimes! Thank you so much for your comment! xx

  15. July 6, 2018 / 9:27 am

    I totally agree with quality over quantity. I even see more experienced bloggers still putting out a ton of posts, but not really saying anything! It’s way better to have well-researched, thought out, and search engine optimized content on a less frequent basis than to just post for the sake of posting. Great tips!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:33 pm

      Totally, I’m a huge believer on that! Thank you for your comment! xx

  16. July 6, 2018 / 11:50 am

    This is awesome to read. I’ve been blogging for about 6 months now and realize how much I love it. This helps me confirm that I’m on the right track at the moment. Thanks for sharing!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:34 pm

      I’m so glad this was helpful! Thank you for your comment! xx

  17. July 6, 2018 / 5:48 pm

    There is so much I wish I knew before I started blogging! I walked into it blind as a bat! I wish I would have done more research!

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:34 pm

      No worries! You can always do more research now, and fix it up! xx

  18. July 7, 2018 / 12:24 am

    You are absolutely right Quality over Quanity. I feel so many people are worried about consistency (even though it is important) you don’t want to put something out there that is just meh. Oh and the people that just want free stuff but don’t realize the effort that goes into blogging or wonder why they aren’t getting sponsorships after a few months, so frustration. It takes time patients and passion.

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:35 pm

      MANY blogger these days don’t get that! And yes, it’s frustrating for sure. Thank you for your comment! xx

  19. July 7, 2018 / 10:49 am

    You’re so right: finding your own voice and then authentically engaging with bloggers around the world is definitely the best part! These were such helpful reminders. I wish I had been myself from the beginning. It’s also definitely helpful to find someone more established that you can imitate as you’re finding your own way– A Cup of Jo and Disco Daydream have both been really helpful models for me.
    xx

    • Kimberley Marquis
      Author
      July 8, 2018 / 6:36 pm

      That’s awesome!! I’m glad you found this helpful! thank you for your comment! xx

Leave a Reply to Leah Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.