BLOGGER BASICS: 5 TIPS FOR STARTING AN ONLINE PLATFORM

I think I was destined to be a blogger. I taught myself to code webpages as soon as I discovered the internet. At 13 I created graphics for my friends Bebo pages. I started my first “livejournal” blog at the age of 14. I then ran a pretty successful fashion blog from 15-17. A beauty blog from 18-19. And finally started my fitness blog, the one you’re reading today, at the age of 20.

Saying that, I still don’t consider myself an expert. I am entirely self-taught. I never did a blogging course or read any books on the subject – they didn’t exist when I started. The industry was in its infancy and it felt like everything was guesswork; yet I somehow managed to find my feet and here I am at the age of 27 working as a full-time online content creator. 

Based on my personal experiences I wanted to share with you what I consider the blogger basics. Five steps I recommend to anyone and everyone who wants to start an online platform – whether that’s a youtube channel, an instagram page or a good old fashioned written blog. They will get you off to a great start in the online world.

1) Value. 

It is a pretty saturated market but don’t let that put you off, there is always more room for new creators. However, I recommend taking a moment to work out exactly what the purpose of your platform is. You have to add value to the online space. What information are you providing? What is your audience gaining from following you? What are they going to come to you for? Ask yourself these questions and shape your content accordingly. 

2) Quality. 

It’s 2019 – consumers don’t want to be watching blurry webcam videos on youtube. You don’t need a professional photographer or a super expensive camera, but you do need good quality content. That means clear images with good lighting, no background noise in videos and spell checked articles – the basics.

3) Consistency. 

There is no use launching an instagram page and then uploading sporadically every few weeks. The algorithms work in your favour when you upload regularly and consistently. Plus your audience will become more engaged with your content when they get exposed to it more regularly, so try to get into a routine.

4) Personality & Authenticity. 

Personally, I engage much more with content which has an element of personality and authenticity. Try to show a little bit of who you are, whether that’s through instagram stories, more casual vlogs or long-form articles. Humans love to connect to one another, they love to relate and get an insight into people’s real lives. Don’t be afraid to share that!

5) Engage. 

Become an active member of the online world. How can you expect the online community to engage with you if you don’t engage with it? Find other people in your space, follow them and leave genuine comments on their content. Make sure you reply to any comments left on your content or messages you receive, this allows a more personal connection with your audience. Not only does the algorithm favour those who are active on social media platforms but you never know what it may lead to – commenting on other bloggers content connected me to women who are now some of my best friends!

All in all, don’t give up hope. The online world is a big and daunting place but it has space for everyone. Bear in mind it took me five years of graft to get to a point where I could make a living off my social media platforms, so have patience and enjoy the journey!

Zanna xx