It seems so long ago since I started my blog. And I was just thinking what if I was just starting a blog in 2019, what tips would I give myself? I know there are some people out there who would like to start a blog and I think it is still a good idea to start one. Yes it might seem that everyone has one but everyone also has something to offer. Here are some of my tips for starting a blog in 2019.
Build Up Social Media
Social Media and blogging go hand in hand. One thing I wish I would have done before starting my blog was build up a social media presence. This can be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, whatever platform. Building that community and audience will help you in the long run when it comes to driving traffic to your site. People need to get to know who you are and then they will feel more inclined to checking your blog out. My suggestion would be to really be active on social media a month or more before launching your blog.
When you look on social media and the internet you see a lot of people try to be something they’re not. When you are not being your genuine self you have to always put on mask for your audience and that will get old fast. As a new blogger you will find yourself comparing yourself to other bloggers and feel like you have to show this perfect life with these perfect pictures, but you don’t. Be Authentically You!!! That’s what are audience will gravitate to. No one’s life is perfect. Be vulnerable, show who you are, be yourself, and your audience will support you 100%.
With there being so many blogs, you have to make sure you are putting out quality content. If you are putting out one amazing post a week, that will serve you better than putting out 5 ok but dull post a week. Make content that is valuable to your readers, content that will make them want read your post. If you continually put out this type of content you will build trust with your audience, and they will know that when you do put out posts it’s worth reading.
Practice Makes Perfect
Whether it’s blog pictures, writing post, or website design; the more you do it the better you will get. Think about any time you ever did something for the first time, it was probably horrible, like me learning how to drive; then the more I did it the better I got at it. You will grow through out your blogging journey. Your pictures don’t have to be perfect, you will learn as you go. You don’t need to spend money on fancy equipment either. Start with what you have first and add things as you grow. When you look back at your old post you will be amazed at your growth. Just to show you an example these are my blog pictures 3 years ago compares t now.
At the end of the day if this is something that you are thinking about doing or have a passion for, just start. It look me 3 months to debate if I even wanted to start a blog and I am so happy I did. There will be moments when you doubt yourself and want to give up but don’t, push through it. Never doubt your capabilities. What you can do is limitless!!
Some of you guys have already started back at school for the spring semester and some of you haven’t like myself. This will be my last and final semester!! It’s kind of exciting and bittersweet at the same time. And although I would love to sit here and reflect on my college experience, I still need to get through this semester, Then we can get nostalgic. So before a new semester starts I have a routine that I do to make sure I am starting the semester off to a good start.
I register for all of my classes before the previous semester ends. So In November I already knew the classes I was going to be taking in the spring. Before the spring semester I just double check and make sure my schedule is set then I will add it to my calendar, I use google calendar. Once I have added my classes to my calendar, I will add times for my other responsibilities like blogging and filming, around those classes. I will come up with a more detailed schedule once I get my syllabus for the classes, then I can add exam dates, projects, and schedule out study times.
Most of my classes don’t require textbooks because of my major (landscape architecture), but in the case where I have to take a class that require textbooks I like to go on the hunt to see if I can get the textbook for free online, in a PDF version, or I look on Amazon and try the rent it. Most of the time Amazon will have to book and I just go ahead and order it.
For my major I need supplies that other people don’t normally need. If I used all of my drafting paper and drafting dots, which is what I usually run out of, then I will order it. Also when starting a new semester I like to start with a new sketch book. The best and cheapest place to order art supplies like this is Blick Art Supplies, they have everything and ship pretty fast! If I need something ASAP I will order it from Amazon or go to my local craft store like a Micheal’s.
On my computer I will make new a folder for the new semester and new folders the classes I will be taking that semester. I will also clean up files that were not put in the right folder from the previous semester, sometimes at the end of the semester things get misplaced and messy. Organizing my computer files is very important for me because most of my work is done on a computer. I have a lot of Photoshop, Auto Cad, and Indesign files. It’s important to keep all of those things in the right place and not just saved anywhere.
Clean Up Old Papers
After I finish a semester I normally don’t go through my folders and throw away stuff I don’t need because I’m just too exhausted to after finals, projects, and long papers. So once it’s time for a new semester I just go through my folders and backpack and throw away old hand outs and stuff I will never need again. I normally will keep old quizzes and stuff like that, just to refer back to if needed.
But yeah that is pretty much it. That is how I prepare for my spring semester of school.
I am not going to sit here and tell you that I love getting up early and starting my day at 5 a.m. but with a busy schedule I have learned how to become a morning person even though I sometimes don't like it. Living in DC traffic is crazy here so you have to be out the house on time or else you'll be hella late.
Prepare the night before
This is hands-down my number one tip. I cannot stress it enough how important it is to prepare the night before. Don't try to get everything done in the morning. For me how I prepare at night is by knowing what I am going to wear. I also make my lunch the night before so I am not in a rush to make it in the morning. Sometimes I will even go as far as making breakfast at night before so if it's like breakfast meats sausage bacon or whatever I'll go ahead cook the night before. These things will help your morning go a lot smoother because in the morning every second counts.
Give yourself time
It is best to give yourself more than enough time and be early then give yourself just the right amount of time and barely make it on time. I commute to school so if I have a 9 a.m. class I like to leave out an hour and a half earlier which means I need to leave the house at 7:30. It only takes me 30 to 45 minutes to get to campus but if there's a bad accident or something happens, then I like to have that extra time and not be in a rush. I give myself plenty of time for things that are Beyond My Control.
Don't use your phone
I know it's tempting to wake up and check your phone but don't. Getting sucked into social media and what's trending on Twitter can just make you stay in bed longer. When I wake up I do check my phone but only for two things the weather and school emails to see if a class has been cancelled or something. Other than that, I stay away from the social media apps.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I love breakfast foods. So I use breakfast as a motivator to get out of bed. If I know I have some amazing avocado toast waiting for me I will be ready to get my day started. So just have your favorite breakfast stocked in the fridge.
I am so guilty of hitting that snooze button, it's ridiculous. Hitting the snooze button is the worst thing you can do for yourself. I have missed so many classes and have been late so many times by hitting my snooze button and sometimes accidentally hitting the cancel button. I have two tricks to help me out with this problem. Put your phone or alarm clock across the room. That way you must get out of bed to turn it off. Another tip is to set multiple alarms. I have alarm set on my phone as well as my iPad so when one goes off and I might hit snooze or stop, the other one will go off as well.
I can't believe that I am saying this already but summer is over and school is start up again! Normally I dread going back but this is my senior year of college so I am so ready to just get it over with. Because this is my senior year I have recently started thinking about my whole college journey and wanted to share some things I wish people would have told me before starting college.
It Goes By Fast!
When you graduate high school and getting ready to start college it seems like another 4 years or more of school is that last thing you want to do and seems like it’s will take forever. But I am here to tell you it won't. I can't believe that I am almost done! Those years go by really fast and you didn't realize how fast until the end. So just know time will fly by!
Take Your General Classes First
I would say this is a great tip for those who really don't know just yet what they want to major in, but it is also good advice for anyone. Coming up on my senior year I only have to the classes for my major left and don't have to worry about my general classes, which is awesome. The sooner you get those classes done the better. That way you can have more free time to enjoy your senior year.
Fall Semester Classes
I feel like this is a personal thing to me but I like the fall semester a whole lot more than the spring semester, maybe it's because I am just coming off of summer break so I feel more motivated and excited to start school. But I also think that fall semester classes go a lot faster than spring semester. If you live on the east coast like me then you know during the spring semester it’s the coldest (Jan-April) and when it's brutally cold outside I just want to sleep in. In the fall semester it starts to get cold around Dec and by that time it's winter break. With that being said, normally I try to take majority of my classes in fall or the classes I dread taking (like math ughhh!) because I know that semester is faster and in the spring semester I will be less motivated to do it and more ready for summer to start.
It's Ok Not To Have Everything Figured Out
When you start college, you feel like you need to have everything figured out which is so not true. It's okay not to know what major you want to pursue or what you want to do with your life. For me I changed my major once but I have friends who changed their majors twice maybe even three times and that's okay. College is about figuring that stuff out so don't feel like you have to have everything under control or know everything about your future. It will come to you in time.
After High School there's this pressure to go to a college and I wish someone would have told me it's okay to start off at a community college cause at the time I didn't know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I feel like a community college would have given me that time to think about those things. So my advice would be to go to Community College if you want and don't worry about what everyone else says, just do what you think is right at the time. I feel like it's this stigma around Community College but it doesn’t make you less of a person if you start there. A degree is a degree no matter how or where you got it. You can start off taking all of your general classes there, and it’s a lesser rate than if you took them at a 4 year college.
Be True To Who You Are
I feel like in college sometimes going to a new place, meeting new people, having new experiences can make it easy to lose yourself. So I would say never forget where you come from, what values you have and know what's right from wrong. Because in college that can be the most testing time in your life.
Trust Your Gut
What I always lean on is my intuition and you will need to depend on that and trust your gut a lot in college. No matter the situation you find yourself in always listen to your gut. Trust me it’s right 95% of the time.
And the last thing is to just enjoy yourself. This is one thing that you'll never experience again in life so just soak it all in and make the best out of those years, because they'll be some of your best memories.
Sometimes as a blogger you want to change up the look of your site without changing the whole theme. I know this happens to me a few times a year. So I am here to share with you a few tips on how to give your blog a little face lift.
If you have a sidebar on your blog there are many ways you can change this to give it a new vibe. Update your profile pic. Add new widgets that offers something new to your readers. I personally like customizing the title of my widgets than just typing it in regular letters. You can do this on Photoshop or if you don't have Photoshop than you can use Pic Monkey or Canva.
Color Scheme & Fonts
Changing your color scheme can make a big difference to your blog even something as simple as changing the shade of color your using. I do this often, my color scheme is pink black and grey but I sometimes play around with what shade of pink and grey I use. I also sometimes change up my fonts it make a settle difference in my blog.
The way your blog is organized can always change depending on your needs or your readers needs. Depending on what you want your layout can always change, just make sure it is cohesive and not cluttered because that can be distracting to your readers.
Out of all of the changes you can make just be sure to show your personal style. Because you are unique in your own way and let that be shown in your blog. Your blog will reflect who you are as a person and what you like and that is something that your readers will appreciate.