So You Want To Start A Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2015

First things first, it's essential you learn how to take a casual "I'm just sitting on a white blanket while wearing sneakers, while holding a wine glass" photo. This is SO IMPORTANT. I can't stress it enough.


But seriously.

Last night I co-hosted a free blogging webinar with Helene from Helene In Between and roughly 400 viewers tuned in.

And for some reason I was more nervous talking to bloggers via webcam than I am doing standup live. Because if bloggers don't like you... they're going to blog about it. Right? Shit, I hope not.

But I think it went well. I mean besides the fact every time I spoke my face was on fire with nerves and I occasionally said things like "trafficked." And Helene and I both showed up dressed like Steve Jobs.

We covered a lot of ground. Everything from how we started, some of our failures, our successes, and how we manage to keep our head on straight from day to day while blogging is our "full time job." If you sat in on it, you probably took away the fact that Helene is a mastermind blogger/scheduler and I... well I just show up and hope for the best while Harlow occasionally glares at me in the background.

I think what surprised me most was the amount of bloggers who tuned in wanting to know a little more about this crazy little profession. Most of you already have a blog, or want to start a blog. And to that I say hells ya. I may complain about it from time to time, but I love blogging. And I don't think it's dying. I think it's getting bigger and bigger and just becoming the norm.

Isn't it weird to think about all of the jobs that we have today that we didn't have ten years ago? Do they teach blogging classes in college, I wonder?

I just got an image in my head of a very serious professor instructing students how to take a selfie and get that perfect "view from above" shot while holding their latte.

And I'm kidding!

We all know blogging is so much more than that... For some of us. There's a few lucky birds out there who have managed to grow their blogs/instas simply by doing what I stated above and good for them! Someone's gotta tell us how to tie our scarves, you know?

Anyway, before this is a full on ramble I want to end on a few key points about blogging that I hope might be helpful.

How to start a blog:

You just do. Don't over think it.

How to make it pretty:

Hire a designer if you're not familiar with web design, this is important.

Content:

Get your feet wet, just start writing. It will take a while to find your voice, but the only way you do that is by putting out a lot of work.

Get an audience:

Blast your shit everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Also, don't be afraid to connect with other bloggers. Comment on their blogs. Be generous with your shares.

Social media:

It's the nature of the beast. If you want a career in blogging you have to embrace it. The Twits, the grams, the snaps, the fbooks, do them all. After you get in the habit, it won't seem to so daunting.

I'm going to end on a cheesy note here and say the most important thing about blogging for me, the reason I've endured 108 years of it and haven't thrown in the towel, is because I like it. Plain and simply. I'm genuinely grateful I get to come here every day and shoot the shit and write about whatever I want.

You hear that, Universe? I AM SO GRATEFUL.

And I'm also thankful to everyone who sat in on the webinar last night! You guys were wonderful. And if any of you wrote mean posts about me being an idiot who doesn't know how to talk, do share!

Now go do it, blogger babies. The world is your oyster!

33 comments:

  1. We really did dress like steve jobs. At least... great minds think alike? i had so much fun last night. thanks for co-hosting with me!

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    1. I actually thought that was planned. My first thought was "Oh, are they setting this up like an Apple event? That's different.'

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  2. I watched a bit of it last night. But had to leave to finish cooking dinner (And try not to set the house on fire.) But it was definitely worthwhile!
    A lot of the Beginning Blogging tips you find are "Don't do this! Don't do that!" or "If you don't do this or do this, you should just pack it in and give up because you already suck"


    I am definitely not a niche blogger. And I think that is what has prevented me from trying. When you spoke to that last night it really struck me. I'm DEFINITELY not a fashion blogger, I'm a parent, but don't feel like a parent blogger, I'm still trying to figure out eyeshadow so I can't be a MUA, and my life involves social media for clients, my pets, my netflix, and my Amazon account. But I love to write. You helped me realize that I really don't have to belong to any specific blogger niche.

    So thank you for that!!

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    1. I've also struggled with the idea of having to have a niche when creating a blog. Every website and tip that I read about creating a blog said that you needed to find your niche. If you didn't, you were doomed to fail.

      It was so great to hear that it isn't necessary. My mind is all over the place. I don't want to feel stuck writing about the same topic/genre over and over again. I'm with you Saimaeve!

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    2. Personally I find niche bloggers a bit boring after a while! Yes they serve a purpose, but unless they switch up their content/evolve with their own interests, it falls flat after a while and there's only so many times you can read about how to do a cat eye flick on a beauty blog (though maybe I should read more tutorials because mine are still crap)

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  3. I'm sad I couldn't tune in! This list is great - and believe it or not, I looked into masters programs in digital composition. Haven't found one yet. I want to be an English teacher one day so that'll probably mean that I'm going to teach blogging. Hellz yes.

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  4. Sad I missed your webinar. I am a dedicated reader and after being MIA for several months, you inspired me to bring my blog back to life starting with a complete redesign. Keep up the good work!

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  5. You were great last night in the webinar! I took away a lot of good advice that I'll be putting to use soon!

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  6. Sorry for my distracting tweets. You guys did wonderful.

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  7. I think content is the hardest part for me. Sometimes I simply don't know what to write. It feels incredibly daunting at times. Then I have days that I write like three posts in a row. How do you balance that so you end up posting regularly?

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  8. You and Helene dressed like "Steve Jobs" hahaha killing me. I loved the webinar. Mostly I love that bloggers like you two have made it work and still want everyone else to succeed too. It's really endearing and wonderful! Plus I liked seeing Harlow photo bomb the video. He really does steal the show doesn't he?

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  9. You did an amazing job last night! You were crazy inspiring.

    I've had my blog set up for a few months now, but haven't done much with it. However, you and Helene gave me the little push of motivation that I needed to get back up and work on my blog.

    Thank you so much! :)

    PS: I have to admit that I was so excited every time that camera panned back to you because I got to see Harlow sitting on the stool majestically.

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  10. I loved getting to hear your startup story last night. It made me feel better to know that all of us go through failures and successes. I think both Helene and yourself did a great job making it a point to take the pressure off of trying to be like other bloggers, and simply be yourself. Thanks for the wonderful advice and hope to see you do it again!

    P.S. You joked about a podcast, but I think that would be amazing! Even if it was you talking to Harlow the whole time. It would be hilarious and fun.

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  11. I loved last night! Had so much fun. I could talk about blogging for hours and to hear from seasoned professionals like yourself it was even better ;)
    chatclinkrepeat.blogspot.com

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  12. Last night was so much fun! Thank you so much for hosting that and providing awesome insight, it was very helpful. And it was really great getting to meet other bloggers with a desire to learn and grow.

    A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF ALL THE BLOGGERS AND THEIR BLOGS FROM LAST NIGHT'S WEBINAR:
    http://lexbelivin.com/?p=208

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  13. I love your opening line... you nailed it! I love reading your blog, I'm always laughing by the end of the post!! :)

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  14. So sad I missed the webinar! I follow both you & Helene...so I have no idea how I missed it. I guess I need to up my social media checking. :D

    -Jennifer

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  15. This is a great post. I've been blogging really inconsistently for years and I this post is good inspiration to get my bum in to gear.

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  16. So sad I missed you and Helene as twins. So glad you still love it, as I still love reading it.

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  17. I loved it, you guys rock. I learned a lot too and am looking forward to the whole e-course. Beverly was also very entertaining:)

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  18. Haha I loved it. It was great. I didn't tune in live, but I did get to watch the replay. It was great seeing two bloggers who I admire hang out and answer all sorts of ridiculous but oh-so-practical questions. x Congrats on it. And I appreciate the inspiration. I would definitely take your class on how to take the perfect above the wine glass shot hahaha

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  19. I missed the Webinar sadly :(
    But I would love to login to the next one that you host! I found your blog maybe two or three weeks ago and I love how you have a unique and creative voice, and you're just being you! I love that, and I really think that's important when it comes to blogging. Love how simple and straight to the point (and honest!) this was.

    Janay
    Lights Out

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  20. I caught the last bit of the webinar last night. Thought you did great. No worries I'm not righting anything bad about it. I've put a few things in place today. More importantly, I'm trying to be myself.

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  21. I loved hearing from you! I admire Helene so, so, so much but I definitely identify with you're "I just show up and hope for the best" outlook. It was awesome to hear that you can be successful as long as you make it work for you.

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  22. I watched the replay since I was at a blogger event!! but you are so funny Taylor and I feel like I am more like you and not too much of a scheduler like Helene is. You girls are great for putting this together and made me feel like I am not alone. I am also grateful for blogging and for you guys!

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  23. Taylor you did great last night! I learned a lot from both of you!!! And I didn't even notice your face was red. Even after you said it was, never noticed! You're gorgeous girl and your humbleness/nervousness is part of your charm!

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  24. I watched the replay. I can totally relate to your style of blogging. I learned a lot. I'm a standup, too, and can relate to being more nervous on a webinar. So funny!

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  25. Man, do i love your sense of humor!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  26. I loved the webinar! You guys both were great! And I feel like there are probably definitely blogging classes you can take for college credit now. UNFAIR.

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  27. "Do they teach blogging classes in college, I wonder?"

    Yes, at some colleges there are blogging classes. The blogger Lorelle vanFossen is a professional WordPress blogger who teaches classes at some college in Oregon (though I don't recall where).

    When I started my blog, I didn't try to fit into any niche. I used (and still use) it as an outlet for my memories and random thoughts... and occasional unfiltered and spontaneous pictures that wouldn't be Insta-worthy at all (though I don't own an Instagram account anyway) :)

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  28. hahaha very simple and straight forward ways to "start a blog". I like how you listed them out.





    I'd love to have you visit my blog. It's www.iblogwithgrace.blogspot.com

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