So we all know that blogging can be difficult to start up and manage with everyday life, specifically with the immense pressures of school. With the rise of young bloggers who are still at school and are trying to manage blogging and school work, this can be very difficult. Therefore I think it is important to share my experiences of dealing with both things at once! As some of you already know, I am still at high school and I’m in my final year which involves a lot of heavy exams. I think that blogging is such a nice way to switch off from school, therefore I want to help other teen blogger newbies know what to do and where to start.
When I made my blog I had no clue what to do, I had no guidance on what to write, when to post, or how to do anything.
Firstly you need to consider what site you want to choose for your blog to be based on. Don’t go searching for ‘free blogging sites’ on google as it will most likely take you to a rubbish site that has very little to offer and will most probably make you pay after a few months! I would highly recommend WordPress and Blogger, as many other bloggers I know use these. Both are very easy to use and are well known by other bloggers, creating more recognition for yourslef. In my personal opinion WordPress is the better of the two, many people switch to this as it is more professional and offers more of a sophisticated variety of templates. Saying this, I did find WordPress fairly hard to get to grips with at first but you have to remember that no one is amazing when they first launch a blog, whatever the platform, it comes with practise. Soon you’ll become more familiar with the site and start producing better quality posts with links and images ect.
This is something that you shouldn’t stress too much about at the start, just get the hang of the site and your writing style. You want to choose something simple, easy for your readers to navigate round and not too in your face! The one I started off with on WordPress is Penscratch which worked well for a good 6 months, then more recently I upgraded to another template which gave me more of a professional look. Since photography is something I feel very passionate about when it comes to blogging I like to showcase my photos on the homepage which will entice people into reading that specific blogpost. Your theme (colours, font, title, homepage) should represent you or how you would like your readers to view you as, for example if there is lots of pink and glitter people may associate your blog with beauty and girly things. Therefore it is important to choose the template that is right for YOU.
Finding Your Niche
This is very important and your probably wondering what it is?! When you start a blog you may have an idea of what subject area you want to go down but it may be vague, for example I knew I wanted to write about beauty, fashion and lifestyle but I didn’t know which one I wanted to specialise in. It was important for me to try out a mixture of all thee subjects in order to look at the responses I get on each post, if people seemed to like beauty related posts the most then I would focus more on those. I am still figuring out what my readers enjoy, I think this takes a while however if it is clear to you that you get very little response from certain posts then reduce the number you publish, as it will put people off coming to your blog on a regular basis. Finding the right niche will help create a good following as you are listening to your readers- which I cannot express enough is SO IMPORTANT! If they ask for a particular post then I suggest you should do it!Growing Your Audience
I get asked this question sooooo many times ‘how do I get people to notice my blog’ ect, but I don’t blame them as I was the same. I wondered why no one was coming to my blog after having an Instagram account and marketing my blog for about a month. The key to reaching a bigger audience is to ACTUALLY USE social media as well as your blog. To start off with posting on Instagram and Twitter everyday is so important as it shows people you are active and are trying to connect with a community, but no spamming their feed as they’ll find you rather annoying and most likely unfollow. You should also be active on other peoples accounts AND blogs, in terms of commenting and liking their pictures, especially those who you want to notice you as the likelihood is that they will check out your account/follow your blog! Following other bloggers similar to you and also way above you is important too as these are the influencers who are successful at marketing their blog. When it comes to themes on Instagram PLEASE DO NOT STRESS, I know the pressures, especially within todays society, are very big when creating that ‘tumblr’ theme, but when you’re starting out all you need to do is post, post, post. Slowly overtime you will develop your own theme which should represent your persona and blog. Anyway themes really aren’t a necessity, good photos are however.
Now onto the struggles on being a teen blogger!…
We all know how hard it can be when you have a piece of homework just sitting there but all you want to do is blog or deal with your blogs social media. It’s difficult to manage both at the same time, trust me I know! What’s best for me I find is to do all my homework the day I get it or during the week, leaving the weekends for relaxing and blogging. I like to use Sundays as my ‘blogging day’ because I can take better quality photos, edit and write all on the same day so it’s ready and scheduled. This way I don’t have to worry about blogging after school when I should be doing homework or revising as it is all ready to go up- no hassle needed!
Marketing Your Blog
Something that you don’t want to over do, as it can really put your readers off, is over advertise your recent blog posts. I see this amongst young bloggers quite a bit, they bomb-bard you with lots of DM’s, stories and status’s, which don’t get me wrong can be a good way to gain lots of views but you need to find the right balance. Doing it excessively and too often can put your readers/followers off, therefore little and often and choosing people who you know won’t mind looking ect. Successful ways of advertising your blog can be on Twitter by making a status linking the blogpost and most importantly using hashtags, also Instagram stories is a good way as people love looking at them! Another way is to imbed the advertising in an Instagram post, like writing a caption and imbedding the fact you have a new post into it.
When I first started out blogging I realised how much developing relationships with other teen bloggers help me! Because we are such a chatty, social media orientated generation, we find it much easier to build relationships with people online, therefore us bloggers need to use this as an advantage and build connections with people that will become loyal readers of your blog. Things like group chats, collaborations and regular comments on their pics/blogs can really help build a blogging community where people will read your blog and appreciate the content. Especially with teen bloggers, developing blogging friendships can benefit you in so many ways. You will find you have regular comments on your blog and social media, so all in all a blogging community is definitely worth trying to build
Thank you so much for reading, I just wanted to help other teen/new bloggers as I’ve had endless people ask me for advice on this subject, so I thought I’d round it up in one fairly long post. I hope you enjoyed it and it has been useful!
Tilly Rose x