Phew! What a week this has been! I'm super duper excited about this time of the year. We all get to look back on the year that was and plan ahead for the coming year. 2016 was a rough year. Lawwdd! Where did it come from?! Who's with me on this?
That said, in all honesty, as a blogger, it was an extra fun year for me as I stretched my wings nurtured my art. I've been challenged, encouraged, inspired, discouraged, motivated...and every other possible emotion possible.
Blogging is an interesting hobby because it requires you to be completely aware of who you are and what you want to share with the world. In other words, before you start a blog, you have to decide what inspires you and why you want to share your passion with the world.
1. Ask yourself why you want to blog
Trust me, you don't have to start with a 30-point strategy or plan. However, some general creative direction is essential. When I started out, I knew I wanted to write about natural hair. But if you have several different interests that you could write about, maybe you should ask yourself these questions:
What do you love most? Where do you think you can add value? Who inspires you and why? What do people say you're good at?
I've come to realise that many bloggers start off with a lot of gusto but get distracted or discouraged along the way. Sometimes life happens and one can't keep blogging. But I've also come to see that blogs often run dry when there wasn't a motivating factor from the get-go.
Fame, notoriety and money are not reason enough to blog. It takes time to create great content and grow a readership so you need to a different kind of fuel for the journey. You need to have a source of motivation that is unwavering.
2. Choose a platform
With the growth of the internet, there are more and more platforms with which to share content. If you want to write a blog such as this one, you should look into a Content Management System like WordPress, SquareSpace or Wix.
Alternatively, if you love making videos, you might choose to start off solely on YouTube. Visual creatives should look into using Instagram, Tumblr or Pinterest to host their "blogs". Remember a blog is simply a journal of your interests, so choose a virtual space that gives you your most creative flexibility.
When I started out, I thought I had to have 6 different platforms - my blog, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest. But as I've become more experienced, I've realised that I much prefer using my blog, Instagram and YouTube as my main channels to interact with my readers and viewers.
3. Invest in good tech
And by this, I simply mean a good camera, a laptop and a smart phone. You don't have to have a $15,000 camera to get great shots. Start with a camera you can afford and then slowly upgrade. Click here are a few good ones you could consider. When I started blogging, I was borrowing equipment from my Uni Library.
Now I use a Mac Book Pro computer, an iPhone 6 S plus phone and an Olympus OM-D E-M10 camera. It took me about a year to buy each of these tools of the trade. It's totally okay to build from scratch and make your way up.
4. Start then keep going
Lots of young ladies have written to me and asked that I mentor them on their blogging journeys. Many of them are keen to start but don't know what they should say or write about. Well I'll tell you this. Get yourself a computer. Sit down. Type. Publish. And invite people to read. Whatever you do, just start. And then keep going.
Once the excitement of the first few posts dies down, you'll need some inner motivation to keep going. Aim to write a post a week. Just keep at it. Even if you don't publish a post for 2 weeks, just get up and post one. Just keep going.
5. Have fun
Don't overthink it. Relax. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Make mistakes. Make some online friends. I feel like Social Media demands that we only show our best side. Trust me, trying to be perfect is exhausting. Be confident in who you are and share your life with the world. Life is too short anyway and there's so much to learn. Blogging is a great way to show the world your true character and most of all, to make the world a better, happier place.
If you're an aspiring blogger, feel free to leave me a note down below. Or if you simply want to know a little bit more about my blogging journey, feel free to ask away!
Sending you lots of love and sunshine,