What I Learnt in My First Three Months of Blogging | The Kitty Luxe

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

What I Learnt in My First Three Months of Blogging


Today marks the milestone of my first three months blogging, and boy has it come around fast. It feels like it's only been a week from when I was sat on my sofa debating it with myself. I had so much creative passion that wasn't being utilised due to the structured, logical nature of my university degree - this meant that I always felt somewhat unfulfilled. Looking back on it, I can safely say that I made the right decision - a whole new world of opportunities has been opened up to me.

It wasn't all glitter and rainbows though, I'm sorry to say. At some points I considered quitting, I lacked motivation, and things were difficult. It's only a natural experience when starting something new, but it's the way that you face them, that really guide the outcome of those problems.

Here are a few things that I found out whilst blogging (both positive and negative) and I hope this can help anyone else who's new on the blogging scene, or those who have just hit a little blogging wall!


JUST BE YOU

I read a lot of advice stating that you should "find your niche" or "find your blogging voice" - but I kind of completely disagree. I think that like in any other life situation, I strongly believe that you shouldn't feel like you need to put yourself in a box and label it.

I am a beauty blogger.
I am a beauty, and fashion blogger.
I am a fashion, and beauty blogger who likes to post about food and lifestyle sometimes.

I am a blogger who likes to post about whatever I god damn want to.

Yes, it is good to have a general idea about the direction you want your blog to go in - that's only logical. If I post about make up, its because I genuinely want to. If I decide to post something personal, it's because I feel like it. It's important to remember that this blog is about you, and your experiences, and what you do, and how you feel, and all of that matters. 

In terms of blogging voice, mine does literally change with my mood. Of course I never post pieces that are rude or anything like that. For example, I'm feeling pretty sassy right now. Can you feel that? I think it's so important to incorporate you in your work. If I'm feeling tired and grouchy, I just wont post. I know that it will look and feel rushed to the reader and they will know that I'm not on form.

Another point to make is that you don't need to be overenthusiastic - the blogs that I love are the ones that are effortlessly readable, because they are genuine. It can sometimes almost feel like I'm talking to the person and I feel like commenting "come round for a cuppa & we'll try out that new lippy ok"


GET PROFESSIONAL

One thing that I really want to put across here is that you don't need to pay for things to make a great blog. I have not spent any money on creating my blog, at all. Apart from the products/items that I blog about and some photo props, oh and a tenner on buying the domain for a year (but this is optional).

Firstly choose a blogging platform, like Blogger or Wordpress. I started to use Wordpress but although I loved the layout, I found it hard to customise. Once I tried blogger, I knew that it was definitely the platform that I wanted to use for my blog.

After I chose my platform, I downloaded a completely free basic theme and taught myself how to write in HTML and re coded the parts I wanted to change. It look a good few weeks and many a youtube tutorial to reach a standard that I was happy with. This means that your blog becomes totally unique to you, and you know how to change it up easily when you feel like it.

Plus there are plenty of free widgets like Snapwidget (to get your Instagram photos on your blog) and so many people post their theme hints and tips with examples of code aswell. As logo's go, you can get some drawn or made for your and it doesn't cost that much money. However, being that broke ass student encouraged me to make my own using free sample images from the web and Adobe Photoshop (again student edition is free!) - sorted.


UTILISE YOUR SMART PHONE

Okay, so this is assuming that everyone that reads this will have a smart phone - but the likeliness is you all do. I get some amazing feedback about my blog photography (thank you!) and up until 2 weeks ago - all of my photos were taken on my iPhone 6. The only post that I've used my old Nikon SLR camera was this one for Elysium Lux. This is because the majority of my images are flatlays for review. The Nikon that I have takes amazing portrait shots but something about taking product photo's with them just doesn't sit well with me. My phone camera is to a decent quality, I can adjust the exposure as I'm going really easily, and my favourite photo editing apps are on my phone. Let me know in the comments if you would like me to do a "How I Edit My Blog Photographs" post or something.


GET ORGANISED

In my opinion, there is absolutely no way to get anywhere with blogging if you can't successfully organise yourself. I have a little journal planner, where I keep my blog timetables, PR contacts, and I write down post ideas in the blank pages in the back. I like to use a diary style planner because I take note of any blogger mail (on the day) and I estimate when I will end up posting about the items/products. This is also great for non-sponsored posts too, as it's great to have an idea of what your goals are for each day of that week - which is great for time management...


MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY

As I'm currently a dual-action student and blogger right now, it's so important to manage my time well. I have a university diary (yes I do love a good diary) and I always compare them to see if I have any scheduled posts/photoshoots overlapping with coursework or revision. Because I am paying such an extortionate amount a year to do my course, uni has to come first - even if I'm in the mood to concentrate on my blog. It's important to know your limits, and plan realistically!


START SOCIALISING 

I actually didn't realise this when I first starting blogging, but there is such a huge, friendly, blogging community online. I was literally so overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness that I received, especially as a newbie. There are numerous twitter blogger chats that you can join in on, and it's a great way of meeting like-minded individuals. Don't be shy - interact on twitter, comment on other people's blogs and if you really like a blog/blogger show it and follow them on Bloglovin'.


HITTING THE WALL

Every blogger knows that dreaded feeling of hitting the wall. When you loose all sense of motivation, or creativity just isn't flowing like it usually is. I tend to create about 20 empty draft posts, that just have titles that I know something about, or have a passion for - and I leave them there. So if I'm attempting to write a post that I have scheduled for a certain day, and it just isn't working - I leave that behind. I go and take a look at the draft posts, and I pretty much always find something else to write about, and it just flows. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't force yourself to write about something if it isn't happening naturally. The post wont nearly be as good, and your reader can tell when you haven't got that passion for the subject.

I hope this has been helpful for some of the other new bloggers out there!
What are the important things that you found out when you first started blogging?
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44 comments

  1. some great things mentioned here! I totally relate!

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  2. I would love a post about how you edit your photos! I've been blogging for almost two years, but I'm also doing a full-time accelerated Masters degree, so it's really had to take a back seat over 2015.

    One thing I have always promised myself is to improve my blog when it feels right to me. I can't commit all of my time to improving my blog because my degree comes first, y'know? Once I feel like I've got the time and motivation to work on something, however, I'll do it.

    Shae xo
    Diary of a Beauty Padawan

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    1. I might have to start working on it then!
      I know what you mean, this is the year before my Engineering Masters and I'm struggling with both already - sometime you do need to let blogging take a backseat though!

      Thank you for reading! <3

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  3. What a lovely post, if only my blog had looked anything like yours does after 3 months - What an achievement! I've been blogging for almost 18 months now and still don't feel as though I have completely found my feet. I'm looking forward to seeing where my little blog takes me in 2016, I completely agree with you about organisation - I love having a little diary for my blogging needs!

    Toni x
    www.clarkecouture.co.uk

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    1. I'm the sort of person that will never be truly happy with it though, I'm always looking to better my blog and myself! It does take time, but its 100% worth all of the work in the end. I gave you a follow on BL, will you follow me back? Good luck! xo

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  4. Great post, Holly. Congrats on your three months! I've been blogging for about 5 months and I can't believe how far I've come in such little time. There have definitely been times that I've lost any sense of direction for a new post, and I agree that sometimes creating blank drafts have really helped in getting started.

    Jasmine | The Sixth Disney Princess

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    1. Thank you, Jasmin! That's so sweet of you.
      I know right, its crazy - yay for us newbie bloggers!
      xx

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  5. I can't believe you've only been blogging for three months - your blog is amazing! These points were definitely relatable. Keep up the good work x

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    1. Thank you so much Jessica - that means a lot! xo

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  6. Great tips! I agree with the socialising point especially - the blogging community is so wonderful, friendly and supportive, I met so many lovely people online! <3

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. I know right, I was so surprised at how welcoming everyone was!
      Thank you for reading, Kay! <3

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  7. Can't believe you only started blogging three months ago! Could you suggest some of the twitter groups that you joined as I really haven't a flipping clue!
    Meg|www.missmegx.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you, lovely! <3
      Sure thing Meg, why don't you give me a DM on twitter (@thekittyluxe) and I'll direct you to some great chats! xo

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  8. You've come so far in 3 months - I could have never achieved what you have! Well, congrats on hitting that milestone and hopefully you'll have many more great posts to come.

    Alice x
    www.girlabroadblogs.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Alice, that means a lot to me! I've been working hard and it seems to have paid off! xo

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  9. these are some great tips, glad you're enjoying blogging so far! i definitely know what you mean with the last one, i used to post a lot of things just because i felt like i needed to get something up, but i'm much happier with my blog now that i've only been posting things i really want to post.

    danielle | avec danielle

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    1. I know right, it's never good to force yourself to write a post!
      Thank you for reading! xx

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  10. Welcome to the blogging world! And congratulations on how far you've come. I really enjoyed this post, I've learnt a lot. Thanks for sharing and all the best in your journey X

    www.fashionenth.co.uk

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  11. Great post, I've found all those tips super helpful. I've really been wanting to get my own domain thingy but i don't even know where to begin with that or if it's even possible to get one without money.

    http://themakeup-gypsy.blogspot.com.au/

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  12. I loved reading through this and I definitely remember really making an effort to learn how to html so I can adjust thing in my theme <3 Also, its amazing that its only been 3 months for you! Your blog looks so amazing

    BCfactor Blog

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    1. HMTL was so important when I first started out! Thank you so much Bea! <3

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  13. Great post to read! I have started on July and I can agree with you. I am enjoying blogging almost every day :)
    Meet My Lovely World

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    1. I don't know what I would do without it now! xo

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  14. This is so true!

    Esp with the draft post. I tend to list so many draft post for ideas. Its the best way to not be overwhelmed. Great post!

    -Shannon
    www.onthelists.com

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  15. Such a great post, thank you for sharing! I just started blogging 2 months ago and I faced different difficulties than I had thought and definitely agree with what you've said. I was wondering if I could please ask you something. I follow you on Instagram and remember you changing your blog name/domain. I'm wanting to do the same but not sure the best way to go about it. Did you basically just have to start completely fresh? From researching it seems like the easiest as I haven't been blogging for long. I've done 17 posts and I would like to move most over to a new name. Just curious how you decided to do yours? I'd appreciate any help or advice xx

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    1. Hey Katie I bought a domain off GoDaddy and connected it to my existing blog hosted on Blogspot :) I didn't need to start again! If you want to ask specific questions give me a DM on Twitter @thekittyluxe xx

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  16. All of these are so true. I have been blogging for a year and a half and I have only started to realise these now. Blogging is not always easy but it's so much fun!

    Sempiternal Adventures

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    1. The good times are 100% worth the bad times! xo

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  17. Love this post! I think you're definitely right in saying just be yourself, think too many people forget to!

    Hana | www.hanarosella.blogspot.co.uk ♥

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  18. Ideal blogpost, I do these things but sometimes lack the motivation and have those off days when I just can't write. I have 2 children so I am clinging onto that baby brain thing.

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    1. That's only natural, you should only write when it feels good! xo

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  19. Great blogging advice, thank you from L.A. :)

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  20. That's insane you've only been blogging three months! You'd think from the quality and style of your blog you were a long time blogger! I am loving your blog! Ox

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  21. I learned quickly that it is SO important to be organised! Without being super organised everything becomes a lot more difficult and last minute rushed!

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

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  22. "You shouldn't feel like you need to put yourself in a box and label it".

    Amen to that.

    I personally love your straight forward style, there's no need for any of us to change our blog to please people.

    www.roliedema.com

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  23. Stumbled across your blog from a tweet I saw on Twitter, I love your blog so much, and especially enjoyed this post because I am now 2 weeks in since I started my lifestyle blog, and I'm learning a lot in these 2 weeks. Of course there's still so much more to learn, but it's incredibly motivating seeing how successful your blog has become knowing you are also a student and spent little to no money on this blog. Impressive!

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