How to become a blogger: The beginnings

I started my blogging journey around 3 years ago – to be honest with not much direction in mind.  My sister and I created A-Listed from scratch, and through the up’s and down’s we continued to grow our followership with amazing people from all over the globe.  The start of 2016 saw on a new direction for A-Listed, now running as a personal blog, I want to elaborate on how you can start writing, earning and growing your own followership just as naturally as I have.

Your blog

Firstly, think carefully about what interests you.  The internet is bursting at the seams with bloggers/vloggers – so what makes you stand out?  I love fashion, and as I have got older, my dress sense has also matured.  I am all for the good old ‘invest’ piece.  I won’t fall shy from using my hard-earned cash on a beautiful handbag or a nice pair of shoes.  Like many other fashion loving ladies out there, I am also a Mother of 3 and believe me when I say, trying to look good whilst raising kids is often the last thing on your mind.  However, I want to also help women regain their confidence – it’s so easy to just ‘not bother’ once the kiddies arrive.  I have very slowly started to ‘want’ to change my body, get healthy, eat the right food and make myself feel good! A-Listed is actually a reflection of my life, my favourite fashion finds, good advice I can give and great advice I have taken.  Find your way bit by bit, every blogger starts off somewhere.

The Equipment

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It’s so important not to go crazy with buying the latest bit of kit. A good camera doesn’t come cheap – DSLR’s start from anywhere between £500 and can go way up to £3-4K depending on what you’re after.  I have seen loads of bloggers use either a Canon or a Nikon and these are very good DSLR’s.

Start off small, if I had started blogging perhaps in my early 20’s, I would have probably only been able to afford a bridge camera or perhaps a point and click – it would have done the job sufficiently.  Once you start to work on your own articles, it won’t be long until you figure out what type of imagery you need and how to achieve a specific look for your blog.  My first real investment camera was the Nikon D5200 DSLR which was quite frankly fantastic.  I can’t stress enough however that you don’t need to purchase a brand new DSLR or SLR, honestly, it is not worth it! I have purchased all my cameras secondhand.  You camera will devalue in price the second you start using it.

The Nikon D5200 is a great camera, you can get beautiful shots with little effort.  I have in the past, used mine for filming on my Youtube channel  – it has a flip out screen so you can see if you are in focus.  The only downside, this is a heavy camera – it’s not one you can just throw in your handbag.  Lifestyle bloggers do need smaller, manageable camera and for this reason I have now invested in an Olympus EPL-7 in white.  It’s such a stunning little thing and I can’t wait for it to arrive…

Be patient

Gaining a following doesn’t come easy – it takes hard work and dedication.  Blogging is a great way to share a platform of interest with people all over the globe, from all walks of life.  Try new things on your blog and think outside the box.  Whatever you do, stay clear from attempting to buy fake followers on social media.  Yes you can do it, but it defeats the purpose and to be honest, won’t do much for your blog either!

Seize the moment

Fashion and beauty blogging is all about sharing a true reflection of a product – your genuine opinion will be helpful to your followers. For example, I will never talk about a product I don’t believe in.  Often, PR’s will bulk send a specific product to bloggers in order to generate coverage…years ago, I worked in PR myself so I know how this works.  Don’t be put on a mass mailing list just to receive freebies.  Talk about product or clothing pieces that you have purchased that you have genuinely liked, your article will be much more authentic and more likely to be shared.

Talk about what you love

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I have been incredibly lucky to be asked to cover London Fashion week over the past three years.  It doesn’t come without hard work and putting in the hours. Having said that, it does pay off.  Once you build a name for yourself, you will gradually get invited out to media/press events that you will be expected to cover on your blog.  I personally like to pick and choose which events suit my blog, but experiment and find out what you enjoy and vice versa.

Software

Depending on whether you would like to vlog, you may need to invest in some editing software.  I use Adobe Premier CS6.  It took me a while to figure out what to do but a good tip is to use Youtube as a basis for learning tutorials.  You can be self-taught how to edit, create your own intros and produce a professional video all from the comfort of your own home.  If you were really serious about learning more than just basic editing, you could look to possibly enrol on a course that would teach you more about in-depth editing.

Choose a catchy name

Your blog’s name should encapsulate and personalise everything about you.  Some people choose their birth names, others choose more outlandish titles.  Just remember that if your blog really takes off, your name will be important, so think carefully about it – try not to pick something that sounds silly, but having said that a unique name also stands out.  It’s also a good idea to buy the .com or .co.uk domain name if your serious about your blog.

Last but not least, good luck on your blogging journey.  Have fun along the way…if you have any questions at all, I’m more than happy to answer them!

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