A British Lifestyle Blog

22 June 2016

Lifestyle Blogging 101

I started my blog two and a half years as a way of communicating with my friends and family when I moved to Leeds. 

I am the worse person at answering texts and responding to miss calls; I had dabbled with fashion blogging whilst I was in university and really missed it. I found the best media to let people know what I was up to, like an online diary. 

Since then the blog has developed into something I am so proud of; I have worked with some great brands, eaten at some great places and met some other amazing bloggers. Friends, family and people I meet are always asking me how to become a blogger, how to set up and how to run a blog. I have given my advice out every now and then, with a promise that I would do a whole post on my experience, with tips and tricks on how to set up your own little corner of the world wide web.

This post is here now. This is by no means the exclusive guide, the guide you must follow to a T. This is just my own experience on how I got set up and I hope it will help you. So sit back, grab a cuppa, have a good study and good luck!

House Hunting:
The first thing you have to do is decide where you are going to host your blog. There are two main contenders- Blogger and WordPress. I am on Blogger which I find is much more user friendly for those starting out with not much HTML experience- but you have limitations as to what you can do in terms of layout. The good news is that there are many talented people who are creating blog templates that you can buy and use on your own blog. My favourite website is Pipdig where my blog layout is from. 

What's In A Name:
Now you know where you are going to call home, you need to name your blog. It needs to be personal, catchy and memorable. Ideally short so it is easier to remember when you are passing on your details when networking. My blog was originally called Ellenorsworld (hense my social media handles). I then changed it to Champagne Lifestyle, Tea Budget as it suited me- I was all about a fabulous life without having to spend a lot of money. The name is far too long, so when I finally got the courage to buy my own domain name, I took off the last two words. The concept is still there, but it is much easier for people remember.

It's worth checking out other blogs of a similar, if not the exact name you are thinking of. It maybe also worth checking if the domain name is available if you are wanting to go legit. Again, you do not need to buy it straight away- I got lucky and got my name a year after I started my blog. 

Your Blogs Layout: 

You do not need your blog looking like a professional site when you first begin, blogs come in all shapes and sizes- it's just whatever suits you. But it is something to take into consideration. I like a simple layout, with gorgeous images. The key is to ensure that it is simple and easy to navigate; if it is too complicated readers may be discouraged from coming back again. 

Lets Get Social:
Now you have set up a blog and hopefully done your first post, it is time to shout out and tell the whole world about it. If you have big blogging ambitions, social networks are key. Bloglovin' is the best place to start, as it will automatically load up your posts and readers will be able to see your posts by searching for their own likes. 

To get really up close and personal with your readership it is best to get your blog its own Facebook page, Twitter handle and Instagram page as a minimum. Ensure the social handles are all the same name, it just makes it easier to find you and link everything up. To load up posts onto these, you need to use some form of social media management, the best being Hootsuite or Buffer. I use buffer as it allows me to schedule tweets about posts and Facebook posts without having to be tied to my phone 24/7.  This means my random tweets are more organic. 

Putting Pen to Keyboard:
A blog is a very personal thing, like how I treat it- it's basically like an online diary. Whatever you blog about should be a passion to yourself. It's very easy to spot the fakers out in the world wide web, who I assume are only doing this to one day get fame.

Blogs come in all sort of shape and sizes and so does your audience. My audience is not the same as the style/ fashion blogs but that is okay! I write about lifestyle as I like to dip into a little bit of everything- hence while I am a lifestyle blogger. Mainly, it's about restaurant reviews and my travels/ what I have been up to; but I also dip into style and beauty every now and then. Soon my blog will head into a bit more of a homeware/ interior direction.

Whatever you want to write about do it! That's the best advice just do it. Grab a cuppa, sit back, relax and enjoy the process!

Shutter Bug:
Blogs need pictures. That's my favourite part of the post. If I wanted to read articles, that's what The Sunday Times are for. Pictures make the post and every blogger is different with the way they take photos. There's no real advice for photos; just point, shoot, upload and listen to your readers feedback.

In terms of camera, you do not need anything too fancy to start off with. I started with my iPhone and a basic digital camera. I then moved onto and still used time and time again a Canon EOS M. Recently, I have invested in a DSLR and went for the Canon EOS 750 D, it came at a hefty price, but it is perfect for what I need it to do.

So there you have it. There is not much to it. Now, go forth, blog and I hope you have as much fun as I have had along the way. Let me know if you have recently started a blog, I would love to have a look. 


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