I started blogging back in the day when a Telkom line and a fat salary was the only way you could connect to the internet. I used my blog as a way to channel my inner Anne Frank, sharing every
gory boring detail and every poorly taken Blackberry photo to an audience of like, three people (hi mom!) It eventually evolved, as I evolved, and became what it is today… uhmm still a way to channel my inner Anne Frank and share every gory boring detail about my life. But blogging, in general, has since grown. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a blogger? It has become the new DJ/photographer… everyone’s doing it and everyone’s an expert. And rightly so, it’s alot of fun! But, the one thing I’ve learnt at ECMeetUp this year is that maintaining a successful blog and having a passion for this sort of overshare requires just that: PASSION.
We were totally spoilt at ECMeetUp. I mean, besides for the food, that is. Megan Botha of By Megan Kelly and Lyle Scritten of Travelstart, shared valuable information and really helped me to put things into perspective. Well, for starters both reminded me how important it is to be authentic. So you want to be a blogger? Well, guess what, YOU are your blog. You don’t need much to become relevant, because to YOUR audience you ARE relevant and if you keep catering to what they like and want, you’ll be successful.
I mean, take me for example. In the beginning, my blog’s name changed more than Katie Perry’s hairstyles and I actually struggled to find a niche that I deemed myself worthy of. Until I had my little girl. I’m going to be honest with ya (because it’s my party and I’ll word vomit if I want to) I actually only thought I had something to share, once I had Karis. When Kari came along, I was like, yeah man, this I can chat about. I am now a wife and I have a baby (but like, a legitimate one this time) and surely there are way more moms who can relate with this, right? Turns out I was semi-wrong. I found out that moms relate with moms. So, by allowing myself to be a mother, I found an audience in you, the single mom, the married mom, the mom of many children, the mom of only one child. That’s because being a mom is the tie that binds us. We get it. We get each other’s struggles and wins.
Anyways, my point (I promise I have one) is that if you want to be a blogger, and you want to start a blog, then DO IT. Stay true to yourself and who you are and the rest, as they say, is Google history. Other tips (some picked up from ECMeetUp) I can share with you is:
- DO find a blog name that is able to grow with you. I mean, if your blogs name is Brown Haired Girl, but you plan to eventually go blonde one day, you might want to rethink that name.
- DONT stick to a wordpress hosted site (that’s when your website looks like this –> www.brownhairedgirl.wordpress.co.za) Megan said that you want to go self hosted (i.e. www.brownhairedgirl.co.za) because it makes your site look more professional.
- DO have a game plan… Lyle shared that consistency is key. It also helps to have a content plan and schedule posts, when you’re having a particularly great moment of word vomit. (If I have a lot to say, I sometimes type up a couple of blog posts and save them in drafts, for those days when I have absolutely nothing going on in my head. Which is most days.)
- DON’T be shy to share your stuff on social media y’all. I mean, duh we want people to read our posts, right? Social media is like, the billboard of the internet. Ooh that’s good, I should tweet that.
- DO make sure your photos are on point and experiment with light and various forms of media. Lyle says that video is the biggest trend of 2017 and 2018. Someone once asked me how much I pay my photographer to take my everyday pics. Photographer for what… those are taken with my phone, girlfriend! Find a great photo editing app and use natural light. Guys, there’s an app for pretty much everything. You too can become a photographer/DJ.
- DON’T player hate on another bloggers hustle. Building relationship with other people within your network is KEY and also, it just makes you a decent human being, you know? Find a group of blogger friends to encourage and support… it’s nice to be nice.
- HAVE FUN! Seriously ya’ll… I would totally stop doing this if I wasn’t having the best time while doing it. Check your motive, check your attitude, keep yourself accountable and don’t turn into a jerk. That is all.
- Find blogger networking events like ECMeetUp (hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay) to learn, connect and grow!
So that’s it. If you’re looking for tips on how to approach brands, check out Megan’s blog. She is a goldmine of information! Lyle blogs over at Versatile Lyle, so do check him out. You can also check out the Travelstart website for great deals on flights and return flights to Port Elizabeth. (Excessive use the word “check”? Check.)
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Travelstart