I took an unintentional hiatus from this series over the last few months, but I’m excited to kick things off again. Just in case you’re stopping by for the first time, let me briefly explain the intent behind Blogger Edition.
I round up an incredible group of badass blogger babes, who are all killing it in their own right, ask them the same question and share their different perspectives. It’s a collaborative way for me to shine some light on other women in the industry and provide more transparency in the digital world.
Today, I decided to switch things up with a 2-part question on topics that go hand in hand. I get asked these quite frequently and while I’ve shared some of my views on this matter already, I thought it would be a great idea to have these girls weigh in on it too. A lot of people want to know how they can start a blog and most question whether or not it’s still necessary when Instagram rules social media. I personally believe that your blog will always be King. You can read more of my thoughts and opinions about that in the post, Why Your Blog Should Be Your Number One.
The beauty of this industry is that we all go through our own experiences, which means that we each have our own tips and ideas to bring to the table. There are no secrets here on my platform, so let’s all succeed together. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back and immerse yourself into the thoughts of these 9 inspiring and creative women. I think you’re going to love them as much as I do.
Q1: With so many changes happening constantly in this industry, what is your biggest tip for someone who wants to start a blog today?
Q2: Do you think that having a blog is still beneficial or at this stage in the game is it better to focus solely on Instagram?
“When I started my blog over 8 years ago (yikes!), the industry was vastly different – in fact, it really wasn’t even an industry at all. That was beside the point for me – at the time (and very much so today), it’s grown into a labor of love, one that I’ve been fortunate to make a career out of, and one that I dedicated myself to learning more about every day. That brings me to my biggest tip and that’s to never lose your drive to keep learning about the industry and how you can evolve in it. Whether that’s improving your photography, taking classes in computer programming, brushing up on SEO, learning about newsletter marketing — the point is to always keep improving and making your business a better version than it was yesterday. Make incremental goals for skills that you want to learn and start checking them off that list!”
“With regard to whether or not blogs are still relevant in today’s influencer landscape, I can’t necessarily say one will yield a better outcome than the other, but I do believe, as a business, it always makes sense to maintain and own as much of the experience as you can. Maintaining and running a blog allows you to cultivate a community on your own terms, whereas focusing solely on one social media platform, can mean you’re at the mercy of another company’s business objectives — which may or may not help you or facilitate your growth in the long run.”
“Stop thinking about it and just start it! Don’t wait for the right camera equipment, or until you move to a certain city, or think you need more money to start up, etc. This industry is evolving very quickly, so you just have to take the initiative and start posting and you’ll quickly catch on. Don’t make excuses for yourself to wait because the longer you wait, the further behind you will be. Blog about whatever actually interests you, when you share what you love and enjoy, there will always be a constant flow of content because it’s what you are living anyway! Use your phone’s camera, pick a free domain name, start writing and taking creative photos wherever you are, right now, and it will grow faster than you ever imagined. You just have to stop wondering and start now!”
“If anything, I think a blog is MORE beneficial now, than ever before. Instagram is its own company and they hold all the power on their platform. Everything you post on there, is theirs and they can take it away whenever they want to! We’ve already felt the rollercoaster of emotions after they altered their algorithms, added advertising, and changed features. Your blog is yours, you own it and all the content in it. It won’t go anywhere unless you decide to. Having your own blog also enables more flexibility with the type of content you share – longer videos, higher quality photos, more text and the ability to include clickable links etc. I love instagram but only as a method to support and amplify your own website or blog. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
“I think it’s imperative to find your voice. People love photos, but it’s often your writing that keeps them coming back. Open up a bit, share your heart a little, and be vulnerable. It’s not easy, but people yearn for authenticity in this industry, and the more you can offer that, the better you’ll do.”
“I feel having a blog is still highly beneficial. While Instagram is definitely the “it” app of today, and a key network to invest time into, it’s still important to have a blog. Besides the ever-changing algorithm, Instagram could close it’s doors tomorrow or they could be irrelevant next year, or decide on a paid model that’d drive members away. But your website it YOURS. So while I invest time and energy into Instagram, I make sure to also put time and effort into the blog itself.”
“I would give them two initial tips I think. The first one would be to focus on quality. Of course, we all want to deliver content every day or as often as possible, but the second that drive starts to become detrimental to the quality of said content is when you’re doing more harm than good. Instead, focus on producing the absolute best content that you can possibly deliver whenever you can. Then, your followers will know that when you post, it’ll be worth the wait. The second tip would be to have fun. Yes, it sounds like something you would tell a 2nd grader, but it’s true.
Focus on having fun producing the quality content from tip #1. It’ll show in your work, and you’ll enjoy doing it so much more. Don’t think about money, likes, comments or anything else. Do it for you and because you enjoy it!”
“Absolutely! I’m a firm believer in having your own website and branded content. I love Instagram, but as you saw with Snapchat, MySpace, Vine and so many others, you never know what the future will bring. I hope Instagram lives forever, but you never know. Plus there are many benefits to having a blog. For example, it’s a place to house your content and where people can find you based on their interests or what they’re searching for and the opportunity to prepare long-form articles and go into a bit more depth on whatever you’re blogging about.”
“There is no doubt the industry is changing and that’s the key word you have to focus on: change. First came blogs, then Instagram, Snapchat, then Snapachat died and Instagram is still conquering the social media world. However, the content you create within Instagram is limited, it could be censored if the rules are changed and you don’t own a database of your following or a back-up for your content. A blog, on the other hand, is 100% yours and it can be as crazy or as simple as you want it to be. You’re the owner of your ideas, what you photograph and what you write.”
“If you want to start a business within the digital world, I think both are pretty important. Some brands will contact you purely for your Instagram, but other brands truly appreciate your own voice and style within your blog, and as long as the social media world keeps on evolving, you can’t rely on a single platform.”
“My biggest tip is to be original. Have really strong high quality content that speaks to who you are. Avoid going to popular blogger spots and scout your own cool locations. Make yourself stand out from the crowd whether it’s for travel, a coffee shop or a photo shoot. Also, be aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are. Know when it’s time to out source or hire a professional. If there’s something you’re not good at it’s okay to find someone who is.”
“Yes, I believe having a blog is still important. Since social media is always changing it’s imperative to keep your blog active in the event it becomes the main social media platform again. Also, blogs are a great way to show more of any outfit, idea (DIY, recipe, home decor, etc.) or editorial. However, I have also realized over the years that Instagram requires a lot of time and attention. So I have learned that I needed to shift my focus and spend more time on that platform in order to be successful.”
“My biggest tip would be to focus on a specific niche from the start of your blog. With the thousands of bloggers out there, it’s definitely hard to stand out so I’d suggest you choose the topic you’re most passionate about, and hone in on that. If your goal is to blog as a hobby, then sure- go for a lifestyle or general fashion blog and have fun! But if you want to take it to the next level, being specific will likely help a lot.”
“Oh boy, your blog is the only thing you actually own! Instagram, as we’ve all experienced, can change their algorithm minute to minute. We do not own Instagram so we have absolutely no control over our accounts and have no idea what kind of changes they might make. You can focus just on your Instagram account if that’s what you want to do, but I personally and strongly believe in focusing on your blog being the home base and social media, like Instagram for example, being some of the ways you promote your blog posts.”
“I think the hardest part of starting something is actually starting it — so, if you want to start a blog, START ONE! There are obviously logistics that come along with it, but there are so many resources now that can help — the best place to start is to take that leap of faith and believe in yourself.”
“I started my blog before I had Instagram, so I’ll always be partial to my blog. I think that having a strong Instagram is important for sure (it’s a numbers game after all), but in my opinion, it’s better for the long haul to be more well rounded.”
“I would say that now more than ever it is super hard to grow, especially on Instagram. The market is SO saturated. However, don’t get discouraged. Focus on your content and if you’re passionate about what you do, you will see success!
“Both platforms are very important! I think so many people started to stray away from their blogs and put most of their efforts into their Instagram only. I personally find it hard not to focus solely on Instagram because that’s what brands are primarily focusing on when it comes to ads. Although, as a business, it is important for us bloggers to keep up with our blogs too. When it comes down to it, it’s the only platform we actually OWN!”
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you leave my site today with a bit more confidence, inspiration and motivation to START. Have a tip that you would like to share or a specific topic that you would like me to cover next? Leave it in the comments below and let’s chat! I always love getting your feedback. Have a great Wednesday. ❤️